From a young age, Casey Contreras has been testing her skills in a variety of sports as she enjoys the competitive nature and excitement from playing the game. With multiple years of flag football under her belt upon entering high school, she made the varsity team as a freshman and has continued to excel in an atmosphere thought to be dominated by men.
Her talent did not go unrecognized as she received a spot on the Western Conference Team during her freshman and sophomore year. Even with the flag football season cut short during her junior year, she was still awarded the Bill Minahan award for Hillsborough County football and flag football players, which she received during her senior year. Despite being the one displaying the skill on the field, Contreras does not take all the credit for herself.
“I couldn’t do it without the help of my dad,” Contreras said. “He’s always been the one to take me out to run routes and give me constructive criticism the many times I’ve needed it.”
Along with gaining the recognition her impressive offensive and defensive work has earned her, Contreras also has gained valuable lessons from her time spent on the football field that she applies to her daily life off the field as well.
“I’ve learned to pick myself up when I’m down and to do it quickly,” Contreras said. “We can’t let one little thing ruin our whole day; we can’t let it determine who we are.”
She also mentions the importance of learning to keep her head up and striving towards future goals. As she moves forward, she has hopes that she can continue to play flag football even though there is still a divide in equality between what is offered for men in football after high school and what is offered for women.
“I definitely wish [females] had the opportunity to play professionally, but I’m hopeful that colleges will begin to recognize it as an official sport very soon,” Contreras said.
A humble athlete with top notch football skills, Contreras has not only left a mark on Steinbrenner’s flag football team but on the entire sport in which she has become dedicated to. She is a leader on the team and in the path of making football female.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how flag football progresses in the future and hopefully by the time I graduate [college], young women will be receiving scholarships to play at the next level,” Contreras said.
Kaitlyn Estrada // Staff Writer