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These Athletes Prove #GirlsLoveFootball

14-year-old Karlie Harman started out playing soccer and basketball. But after she placed first in an NFL Punt, Pass, and Kick competition, she told her parents she wanted to play football, even writing a two-page letter about how much she loved the sport. Her parents supported her, and they aren’t worried about whether she can handle the contact: “If we didn’t think Karlie could handle it, she wouldn’t be doing it.”

Karlie plays quarterback and kicker on Dulles South Youth League’s 130-pound football team, and she made Northern Virginia Football player of the year. She’s also started her own clothing line, Kar-D-O by Karlie. Half of every portion of Karlie’s sales goes to VETsports. 

“Football’s always been known as a male dominated sport,” Karlie’s coach says. “But all of a sudden you get a young lady like Karlie who comes out and shows, no it’s not.”

Karlie confirms that she doesn’t feel like an outsider in the world of football. “It’s not about your size or gender, it’s really about your heart.”

Click through the slideshow above to meet the women who paved the way for girls like Karlie and Sam Gordon, then follow MAKERS correspondent Sam Gordon to get the latest Super Bowl coverage on the ground in Arizona.

Image via Together We Make Football