Play Like a Girl


Evalee Mason

Number 25, Christina Lutton, earns the Thunder an extra point after a touchdown.

Dylan Berkowitz, Staff Writer

Another year, another season under the Friday Night Lights! That’s right, it’s ODA football baby! A new season means that there are new players; some of them have never played before, others have risen from the Middle School.

However, if you noticed a ponytail running from under one of the players helmets, there is one addition that may come as a surprise.

There is a girl on the football team.

Christina Lutton is a Junior who moved to Florida from Ohio. While in Ohio, she played soccer during the fall season, the same season as football, so she never had a chance to play both. Not to mention she went to an all girls school.

“My brother always played, so I would go to his practices and stuff … and kick the ball around on the side,” Christina said.

She got so interested in the game, she decided she wanted to play once she moved to a new place.

“Everyone’s really nice and helpful. I’m just glad that it’s a nice group of guys.”

If it seems like second nature to her, Coach Sommers confirms that she’s simply another member of the team.

“It doesn’t feel any different. Christina has done everything we asked her and doesn’t ask for any special treatment. We’re just glad to have her, ” said head coach Ken Sommers.

“The practice has remained the same and go just as hard on her as we do on any other guy,” said Junior Ethan Bertrand, “She’s one of the bros.”

This optimism doesn’t stop on the field. Her siblings also have a lot on their minds about their sister playing football.

“I have confidence in her. She’s played soccer all her life, and I think she is up for the challenge,” said freshman, little brother and fellow teammate Brian Lutton.

When asked how it felt to be on the same team as his sister, he said, “It’s kinda weird to be honest. The whole team has a new vibe. It feels like we all changed because of her, but honestly it’s for the better.”

“I’m proud of her for going out there and giving it her all,” Christina’s twin Caitlin said.

“It says a lot about her character. The courage and bravery she has to do something, people wish they could have. She is a leader both on and off the field and her trying something new, going against the norm and playing football really shows how great of a leader she really is.”

When asked how she feels about Christina playing against guys two to three times her own size, Caitlin said, “It doesn’t really matter to me how big they are. Christina, who is 5’4”, may seem small, but she’s filling a huge role and can definitely take down some big guys.”

This may seem like a big deal to many people, but some teammates question why so many people are making a big deal about it.

“It’s not a big deal. I’ve played tackle football with girls in the past,” said Junior and teammate Dakota Dickerson.

“I don’t like the publicity because I am a girl,” says Lutton.

“I wish people wanted to write about me for a different reason.”

“It really shouldn’t be a big deal,” said Junior Ethan Bertrand, “I feel like all the publicity towards her she didn’t want, so I kind of feel bad about it.”

So while Christina is breaking some new ground for ODA football, she as well as her fellow teammates don’t want this to be the only reason she is known.

Who knows, maybe this article is doing more harm than intended.

To catch Christina and her fellow Thunder teammates play at home, head to Homecoming.

The Thunder will play the St. Stephen’s Falcons at 7:00, after the Homecoming Family Picnic.