Laveen high school student proves gender is not a barrier when it comes to football

Football season is underway, and 2023 is the first year that girl's flag football is sanctioned.

For one high school player attending school in Ahwatukee, she is not only a quarterback for a flag football team, but also a boy’s tackle team.

"I like studying the plays because that gets you on another level from other QBs," Mountain Pointe High School freshman Amaya Moreno said. "The most important part of being a QB is the mental aspect and being able to read a defense and know where your players are going on the field."

We caught up with the talented football player on opening night of the girl’s flag football season. Besides the girl’s team, Moreno is also a quarterback for her high school’s freshman tackle team.

"I have about three games a week and a lot of practices, but I definitely think it’s getting me better," Moreno said. "It's gonna take me to the next level. I’ve never been pushed like this before."

Moreno, who lives in Laveen, grew up around football and started playing when she was seven. Her dad helps coach the flag football team at Mountain Pointe, and she’s also used to being the only girl on the field.

"There’s definitely some people that like to talk," Moreno said.  "I don't let it get to me. But just knowing that I have a target on my back I do get a little nervous sometimes, but I can't really think of it at game time. I don't let it phase me because the mental part again is the most important part of football."

Mountain View defeated Mountain Pointe 12-7 on a brutally hot night in Mesa. Moreno and others say they’re grateful they get to play a game that they love.

"It means everything to me because when I first started playing football, I never envisioned it going anywhere if I'm being honest," Moreno said.  "But now the Arizona Cardinals are here, I can play at the collegiate level it’s just amazing that us girls get this opportunity."