HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — For Isabella Michael, a seventh-grader at Hutto Middle School, she’s making district history scoring touchdowns on and off the football field.
Michael plays football at HMS and, for the longest time, was the only girl on her team. This fall, she translated that same trailblazing spirit onto the field, scoring the first touchdown by a female player in the district’s history.
Bella’s First Football Touchdown!! pic.twitter.com/MNPkcbNtQk— Mayra Toro (@OMG_ITS_MAYRA) September 8, 2021
Michael’s coaches have awarded her with two Play of the Day recognitions: both on 50- and 70-yard kickoff returns.
“For a while, she was the only girl on the team,” Michael’s mother, Mayra Toro, said. “She was told by her coaches, ‘she is the first girl in Hutto’s history to ever score a touchdown!'”
This year marked Michael’s first playing football. When she considered trying out, she said she knew she had the speed, catching skills and aggression needed to be an asset on the field.
“I caught the ball. I missed the ball for the first time, and then I caught it,” she said. “I was like, ‘alright, I gotta put the jets on.’ So I went ‘zoom!’ and I was out.”
As a mom, Toro said she was anxious because of the physical demands of the sport. But when she saw Michael sprint into the end zone, she said she couldn’t contain her excitement.
“It’s scary, you know? It’s your little girl playing a boy sport,” Toro said. “It’s what she wants to do, and so I’m supporting her in that and allowing her to move in her own space. She’s doing a great job.”
Toro said Michael has received overwhelming support from her teammates, coaches, teachers and peers. Each game, HMS’s cheerleaders root her on as she enters the field; when she scored her first touchdown, the team stormed into the end zone in celebration.
Alongside making district history on the field, Toro said her daughter channels that same energy into the classroom. Michael is an honor student and serves as a student ambassador, welcoming new students to campus.
“All of the teachers adore her kind heart and leadership,” Toro said in an email, adding, “She’s an incredible kid.”
While this year marked her first playing football, she said she doesn’t anticipate it being her last. So long as she can “put the jets on,” she said she’ll be back in the game.
“I always try to push myself every day — just keep going and don’t quit,” she said. “Because sometimes I’m like, ‘alright, I don’t know if I can do this anymore.’ But I always keep going.”