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This spring, Breyda Spinner isn’t cheerleading at Clear Creek football games; she’s one of the players. And, in case football fans have missed her neon coral shoes and the dual braids lining the …
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This spring, Breyda Spinner isn’t cheerleading at Clear Creek football games; she’s one of the players.
And, in case football fans have missed her neon coral shoes and the dual braids lining the No. 22 jersey during special team plays, she’s taking no prisoners.
“I catch up on things pretty quickly,” Spinner said, adding that she plans to return for the fall season. “I have a lot of work to do still, but I’m getting there. … I have a good environment to try (football) in.”
On April 7, the Clear Creek junior — who’s participated in cheerleading, cross-country, basketball and soccer — was named one of the team’s weekly co-captains who’s responsible for leading the team’s stretches.
Coach Danion Baca explained how he initially recruited Spinner to be a kicker. He asked two girls with soccer experience if they wanted to join the team, and Spinner agreed.
“I was definitely a little scared at first,” Spinner said of attending her initial week of practice. “But, my teammates are encouraging.”
Incidentally, Spinner hasn’t really had any playing time as kicker. Along with all special team plays, Baca anticipates she will see more playing time on defense and potentially offense as the season continues.
Spinner said she’d like to play defense more, and one of her goals is to get an interception.
“I’m proud of her and excited for her,” Baca said. “(The players) don’t go easy on her, because the other team won’t. … She understands all her plays and shows up at all the practices — she’s earned all her playing time.”
While Spinner isn’t the first girl to play football at Clear Creek, she’s probably had the most playing time of the more recent female players, Baca commented.
Clear Creek has had at least three other female football players in the past 35 years, including Jillian Lupinacci on the 2020 team. Spinner remembered cheering at football games and watching Lupinacci play.
She had no idea she’d be joining the team herself at that time, describing how Baca approached her early in the 2020-21 school year. As she considered it, she said she had a lot of support from her family, friends and future teammates to join.
And that support remains, Spinner said, explaining how she’s only had positive comments and feedback from her classmates and friends.
“She’s pushing everyone to their best,” teammate Seattle Schuessler, a CCHS senior said. “… It’s fun to watch her go out there and not hold back. She won’t take any crap.”
While girls are allowed to play on primarily boy’s teams and vice versa, Baca and Spinner said former coaches weren’t always as welcoming and encouraging toward girls in the football program.
However, Baca said he doesn’t feel that way.
When he coached football and wrestling at Alameda High School, the girls in those programs were some of his best athletes. Plus, his daughter played football until eighth grade when she decided to prioritize softball.
As long as they’re willing to put in the work, just as Spinner is, Baca said he welcomes anyone to try out for the football.
If any girls are interested, Spinner said Clear Creek’s players, coaches and community have a created a good, comfortable environment to try their hand at playing football.
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