The Girl With The Football

‘Lore Olakunle

As many of you know, or if you didn’t know, we have a girl on our OM football team. She started her football journey in sixth grade playing flag football with a team of all boys, the Ellicott City Patriots. Lori played with that team until she was in the eighth grade. Lori’s friends and cousins inspired her to try football and were the main reason she tried out the new sport in sixth grade. When it came to the support of her family, Lori stated, “They were scared at first. They were a bit skeptical about it, but they’re going to support me regardless.”

Lori was a student at Long Reach High School during her freshman year. When she was trying out for the football team, many of her teammates told her that she couldn’t play. Lori was then transferred to Oakland Mills her sophomore year. She didn’t play football because “covid shut that down for me.” During her junior year, she “wasn’t mentally prepared,” but when it came to her senior year, her dream of playing high school football was revived.

She’s a girl who loves the game, and Lori wouldn’t change anything when it comes to her team and the sport. Although, there is one thing that she would change, which would be the referees. “Referees – I think they definitely spoil the game in terms of flags being thrown down for certain things. I think it makes the game soft,” Lori explained.

Lori has experience in playing running back, linebacker, and safety. If you don’t know what those three positions are, here’s a little run down. Running backs take handoffs from the quarterback, along with running the ball or receiving passes. Linebacker and safety are a little similar in terms of defense. The only difference is that the linebacker is on the defensive line and the safety tackles the ball carrier, but only if the ball carrier breaks through the defensive line.

When it comes to sports that rely on physical strength and contact, there tends to be an unfair advantage when females go against males, and Lori has certainly come across times where she realized she had to work harder to be just as good. “I noticed that what the boys do I have to do ten times harder because genetically we’re just not the same. Obviously, they’re bigger, bulkier, [and have more] muscle mass… I kind of have to work ten times harder to be just as good as them.”

As we know, everybody has their own game plays, well, Lori’s is the panther play. It’s when the left wing makes a C motion into the A gap, it’s basically a power play. Lori gave us a little bit of insight on the panther play and the equipment the football players wear. “The equipment is a lot better than what I used to wear, that’s for sure … [the fit of football gear] really depends on your body type. I’m pretty slim and I think I have a more masculine build, so I didn’t really struggle to find gear that fit me,” Lori commented.

Lori finished up her senior football career this past fall season. She is not the first girl we’ve had on the OM football team, and she most certainly will not be the last.

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