Many teenage girls spend the summer lounging on the beach or strolling through the mall in search of the perfect back-to-school outfit, but Peyton Measel is anything but typical.
The soon-to-be freshman at Liberty County High School has spent her summer working out with the boys as she vies for a spot on the school’s football team.
Measel, 14, said she has been down this road before. She played on her school’s football team when she lived in Ohio.
“I played (in) first through fifth grade,” Measel said, adding that she didn’t play in sixth grade because her family moved to Texas.
Her father, Sgt. Jeffrey Furnas, was transferred to Hunter Army Airfield about two years ago. Measel said she started attending Midway Middle School as a seventh-grader and after one year in school decided to put on the pads again.
“I played eighth-grade (football) at Midway Middle School,” she said. “I just wanted to play again. I enjoy it.”
Measel comes from a house full of boys and said roughhousing with her two older brothers and one younger brother has made her tough.
She played several positions in Ohio, and now she hopes to make the Panthers squad as an offensive lineman, tight end or defensive lineman.
“They don’t treat me any different from the guys,” she said. “I’ve been coming out the whole summer. You have to be ready and be at practice on time.”
Panthers assistant coach Ryan Glazer said Measel’s mom, Joy, encourages her daughter, and so far, the rising freshman has been holding her own.
“She has been able to stay with us for the most part,” Glazer said. “She is out here every day and she is showing that she really wants to be here. She is here on time, finishes all the drills and that is all we can ask from any of the players.”
Glazer said girls have tried out for football in the past, but none stuck it out.
“But we just look at her as another player,” he said. “And the guys look at her as just another teammate.”
The honor-roll student said she isn’t afraid of being hit on the field and doesn’t mind dishing it out, either.
“It feels good,” she said. “You have to be able to get back up from the hit even if the guy is bigger than you.”