Ashley Diaz still gets strange looks walking the halls of Lakeview High School in Chicago.
Some of her classmates call her "That girl that plays football." None of her teammates do, she said. Diaz is just another part of the team.
"At first, my teammates were just like 'Are you really playing,' " she said. "I told them yes, but they weren't mean or anything. They accepted me right in and gave me a chance.
"The reaction I get from them hasn't changed. They've supported me in the football family we have."
Jason Isaac and John Merenick can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Three years of planning. Six months of public meetings. Countless hours of fundraising. Negotiation. Compromise.
It all came together with a single turn of dirt Friday as Duck Creek Pop Warner Youth Football in Suamico, Wisc., broke ground on what will become a 22-acre multi-use park complete with four fields, a refreshment stand, storage facilities, parking lots and a playground.
The best traditions start as simple ideas.
In Indiana, one budding youth football tournament is entering its fifth season and has grand plans to someday expand beyond the Hoosier state's boundaries.
The Central Indiana Border Wars, once a simple neighborhood event on the south side of Indianapolis, now brings together nearly 100 teams from two dozen communities for a two-week, three-weekend tournament featuring third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade squads.