Female football player paves her own path at Port Byron

PORT BYRON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Deep on the field in Port Byron, you'll spy a streak of pink in the rush of cleats.

"I'd never heard of a girl playing football, so I was iffy at like the first two practices. But, when I figured out I was just like one of the guys, I didn't have any more nerves,” said Jamilyn Casbarro, the only female on the Port Byron team. 

Seven years ago, Jamilyn signed up for Auburn's Pop Warner football team because they didn't have a cheerleading squad -- so she became the defensive captain instead. 

"She has a lot of experience, so she knows what's going on, not like a lot of the modified guys that are coming up kind of clueless. She can kind of help the other guys,” said quarterback Jack Smith.

"I was always questioning what kind of girl would go out for football. What would she be like? How would she physically handle it? Jami just solved every issue there, no problem,” said Tim Howell, Jamilyn’s coach. 

Coach Howell now uses her as an example to recruit more girls to play on the gridiron.

“She makes me think about things differently now. It's exciting to be able to give her the ball and have her score and then all of the suddenly turn around and realize, oh she's a girl,” Howell said. 

Jami's mom says another girl signed up to join the team later in the season and has spent recent weeks learning the ropes in practices.

Jamilyn now knows she isn't the first or only girl to play football. But, in her community, she could be the only one to rise all the way from the Pee Wee division to a Varsity team.

She even hopes to play in college one day - because she doesn't see a good reason to stop.

She's glad to be a role model for other girls in the district.  

"Never be afraid to be different. Always try your best. Never look down on yourself,” Jamilyn said.

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