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Shattering stereotypes: Student athletes defy gender norms

In a world of gender barriers, Kaelyn Carr and Jupiter Seaton, seniors, have been able to shine in their respective sports, both of which are primarily dominated by the opposite gender. Carr is a kicker on the varsity football team and Seaton is a member of the JV dance team.

“My friends drew me to dance,” Seaton said.  “I’m watching all these music videos and they’re just moving in such rhythmic ways and I just wanted to know how to do that.”

Seaton was a member of Dance Club for three years before joining the dance team.

“It’s been amazing,” Seaton said. “I love learning all the moves. I love watching the other people learn the moves and helping them along with it and they helped me.”

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However, Seaton has noticed that there are multiple challenges of being on an all-female team.

“Sometimes we don’t bond as well,” Seaton said. “Just because gender differences and that type of thing. But for the most part, we’re all pretty much friends.”

Though it may be hard at times, Seaton recognizes these differences and appreciates the team’s attempt at inclusion.

“It’s a little bit hard,” Seaton said. “Sometimes I feel a little bit ostracized or left out. But overall they try to incorporate me as well as possible.”

Along with Seaton, Carr has also faced some problems with being the only of her gender on the team.

“I didn’t want to go into the locker room, so I would sit by the field and wait until everyone was out of the locker room and then I would join them,” Carr said.

Carr comes from a family of avid football players and wrestlers. As a result, she decided to try football as well.
(Ghada Kassem)

Carr joined the Football team three years ago, after the other kicker transferred to another team. She vaguely wanted to join in seventh grade, but her father had said no.

“I was a soccer player at the time, and then one of the coaches was like, ‘Hey, we need a kicker, you play soccer, come to a practice,’” Carr said. “This time, I was like, you know what? Coaches are asking me to come, I’m just going to show up to practice and see what happens.”

Though she is the only female on the team this year, it has not always been like this.

“When I first started I had Erin [Martin], and she was a linebacker,” Carr said. “She was a senior and I was a sophomore. She made it comfortable for me to go and then, last year, I was the only girl and I was fine with it because I was already used to being one of the only girls.”

Just like Martin, Carr has also started to play linebacker for JV, something that she did not ever think was possible.

“I feel really proud that I was able to try and become a linebacker,” Carr said. “I didn’t think I was going to do that. But then again, Erin was such an inspiration to me that I was like, ‘she played linebacker, I can do it.’”

Even though Carr now plays linebacker, she will continue to play mostly kicker. Carr kicks for both JV and varsity.

“I just love that I am able to come and I’m able to impact a game through one play, and it can kind of turn things around,” Carr said. “So I had an onside kick against Loveland that we recovered and that gave us momentum to go and make it to the Red Zone, which was crazy, because I was like, ‘Oh, wow, that started with me.’ I’m not in the game a lot, but I can change the game, and it’s really it’s fun to know that I can do that.”

While Carr loves the team dynamics of football, she has noticed that there are some difficulties of being the only female.

“I’ve always just thought I could find a spot for me, and I did,” Carr said, “But it was so much harder than I expected it to be and I don’t want to put down being female in any way, but when I see a guy who has never kicked before, and he’s just able to come and boot it across the field. I’m like, Oh, wow. I had to work so hard to get to where I’m at.”

This story was originally published on The Chatterbox on November 2, 2023.