At the New York Times, "Girl Is Pioneer at Florida High School":
South Plantation High School’s third-string quarterback was warming up on the sideline before the fourth quarter of a recent preseason game, and each pass was quick, concise and purposeful. The quarterback’s nervous mother, Kathleen DiMeglio, was capturing the moment on video from the bleachers. Then, in an instant, the quarterback vanished from the frame, lost amid the sea of white jerseys.Continue reading.
“Where’d she go? Where’d she go? Where’d she go?” DiMeglio said, and then it quickly dawned on her: “Is she going in?”
When the Seminole Ridge Community High School announcer told the crowd Erin DiMeglio was at quarterback, there was little reaction, because the name Erin, when pronounced, does not connote a gender. But then everyone saw her ponytail swaying as she jogged onto the field. Then there was some buzz. Is that the girl? Can she play? Can she throw?
South Plantation Coach Doug Gatewood knew that the answer to all three questions was yes. The one question he did not know the answer to, and did not want to know, was whether she could take a hit. So when DiMeglio dropped back for her first pass, saw no open receivers, and began to roll to her left, Gatewood felt queasy.
“Go down, Rock,” he said quietly. “Go down.”
DiMeglio, who is 5 feet 5 inches and 140 pounds, did not go down, but she did fire a pinpoint pass to a receiver, who turned upfield for a 10-yard gain. Fans cheered. Cheerleaders chanted Erin’s name. Kathleen DiMeglio exhaled.
“Oh, my God,” she said.
This event, observed on video and recounted by Gatewood in an interview, was not a publicity stunt or a tale of a small-town football team with a jersey to spare. South Plantation High is near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., nestled in one of the nation’s high school football hotbeds. The Paladins’ roster is filled with college prospects. The star running back has committed to Miami, and its starting quarterback has offers from Navy and Air Force. And, yes, one of the backup quarterbacks is a girl.
Erin DiMeglio, a 17-year-old senior, was 2 for 3 passing in that scrimmage at Loxahatchee. And on Friday night, she took two snaps in the Paladins’ 31-14 season-opening victory against Nova, handing the ball off both times. She is believed to be the first girl to play quarterback in a Florida high school football game.