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Loudon linebacker breaking barriers

Sophomore Maddy Rossi-Dupas mixes it up with the boys
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 10:40 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Young ladies playing football is nothing new, but normally you’ll see them in a special teams capacity as a kicker or punter. ”They were gonna have me start out as kicker but I’m not that great at kicking and they were OK, you can go play linebacker,” said Maddy Rossi-Dupas, a sophomore linebacker for Jeff Harig’s Loudon Redskins.

Maddy grew up around football with her mom Jennifer caring for players as a trainer on Friday nights. Also growing during that time, was her love for the sport and her determination to play says Maddy, ”I was never really a girly-girl, I didn’t like cheer leading so I was like can I try this? My parents have been really supportive of that, my dad played different sports.”

Now a sophomore, Maddy’s goal is to play through her senior year with a group of teammates that treat her like one of the guys says coach Harig, ”She has earned her keep as one of the teammates not only has she earned it as a manager being at practice everyday, but when she transitioned to a player throughout summer workouts and her attendance despite all the Covid she’s earned her keep and the boys have respect for her.”

That feeling of being an equal is important to this bright, determined and strong young lady who says the way she’s treated on the field at Loudon can be different then the way it is outside the white lines, ”I’ve struggled with a coach that didn’t see me as an equal, didn’t see me as a player and and just saw me as a woman and I know that sounds terrible because everyone’s supposed to be treated equal but the reality is not everyone is and being able to come out here and feel welcomed is just amazing.”

What seemed at one point as an improbable season kicks off for Maddy and her teammates Friday night at home against Greenback.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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