Nine-year-old Megan Hedlund doesn’t let other’s expectations block her path to happiness. Megan who wears number 36 for the Smash team’s offense—yes, helmet, pads, tackle and all—got tired of watching big brother Ryan from the sidelines. So one day, she suited up in his gear and he began teaching her how to play.
Photos by Tony Poleo
Her desire to play football didn’t come as a surprise to her parents. “Megan has always pursued things that made her happy. This is evident in the way she dresses, plays, lives life day to day,” said Stefanie Hedlund, Megan’s mother.
Football is not the first traditionally male sport for Megan. She also pitches and plays first base with High Desert Little League, and raced go-karts since the age of about 4. Her parents said as long as she gives it her all, she has their blessing to play any sport she wants. “She’s not going to do her nails on the sidelines,” Stefanie said. “She plays just as hard or harder than the boys.”
So, how does she handle the inevitable comments and remarks? “She is not concerned about what other people think. She loves to play,” said Stefanie who, as owner of Dream Decor, a company specializing in window coverings since 2004, is also a woman of strength. “We are both independent women,” Stefanie said.
All this confidence and experience could take Megan just about anywhere she wants in the future. Does she know where that’s going to be? Megan answers with an emphatic and age-appropriate “No!”
One thing she does know, she loves playing ball.