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SALT LAKE CITY — While living in Colorado in 2015, Sandra McComb approached her dad, Andrew, with a question.
“Dad, I want to play football,” the then 9-year old asked her father. “How do I play?”
Sandra grew up watching sports, especially football, before approaching her dad with her desire to play the game.
“I love watching football,” Sandra said. “I go to every high school game and watch the NFL games too.
“I wanted to play because my friends played, that’s what everyone did.”
Sandra, who is the youngest of three kids in the McComb family, has an older brother who participated in band and an older sister who dances. She would be the first of her siblings to try out and enjoy playing tackle football.
“You gotta support them in what they want to do and help encourage them with what they’re passionate about,” Sandra’s mom, Lisa McComb said.
After playing little league football as the only girl on a team of boys in Colorado, Sandra and her family moved to Logan after her fifth grade year.
Upon arriving in Utah, Andrew McComb said they looked into whether or not Sandra would be able to play with the boys here in Utah as well. “She said she wanted to play when we moved to Utah, so we just went to the rec center and signed her up,” he said. “They never said no, so we just let her play.”
Sandra has since played three seasons of tackle football in Logan, playing and starting on both the offensive and defensive line. Despite all the games Sandra has played, many of the other participants might not have even noticed. With a helmet and full pads on during games, Sandra’s parents said that most teams probably don’t even realize there’s a girl out there playing with all the boys.
When people do notice, they praise Sandra for having the courage to be different.
“I’m very proud of her for going out of the box and doing what she wants to do, even against most people’s opinions,” Andrew McComb said.
After completing her fourth season of little league football this past fall, Sandra plans on playing with the freshman team at Logan High School this next season. She is currently participating in workouts with other potential members of the freshman team. Workouts are held three nights a week for an hour each night, and Sandra is already one of the most faithful attendees.
Glen Halterman, who will participate as an assistant coach with the Logan High School freshman team this season, has coached Sandra the past two years in little league.
“She didn’t think she’d be able to play this year because she’s a girl,” Glen said. “She was pretty excited when she found out she could.”
Halterman wasn’t sure what it was going to be like having Sandra on his team when he began coaching the soon-to-be freshman during her seventh grade year.
“When I first got my roster and saw Sandra on there, I was curious to see how it was going to go,” he explained. “She’s stepped up and competed at a high level.
“She learns really well,” he added. “It seems like she’s always giving 100 percent, and I think the other kids feed off that.”
Sandra said she enjoys playing on both offense and defense, but really loves getting after the opposing team’s quarterback while playing defense.
“When I play defense, I was able to sack the quarterback a couple times,” she said. “That’s my favorite thing.”
Sandra, who also loves to play basketball and plans on trying out for the girls team at Logan High, said she wants to continue playing tackle football for as long as she can.
“I will try my hardest to go as far as I can with it,” she said. “There are times that I want to be done, but I push through it and keep going anyways because in the end it’ll be worth it.”
Regular practices for Sandra and the Logan High freshman team will begin this summer with games starting in August.