Brent Gordon is Sam’s father, and he is the one who uploaded the highlight video of his daughter to YouTube on Monday. Brent confirmed that Sam is nine years old, not eight like some outlets reported.
Sam played for the Herriman Mustangs in the Gremlin age group of the Ute Conference in Utah. Her team went 6-5, and they lost twice to the same team — once in the regular season and another time in the playoffs.
“Before the season started I had a feeling that Sam would do something special and I wanted to capture that for her to remember the rest of her life since I didn’t think she’d play football for more than a couple of years. I made sure every game was recorded. I wanted to share the video with her friends and family and other supporters. I had no idea it would have such a big response,” Brent Gordon told Larry Brown Sports over email.
Brent says that “Sam is excited that people enjoy watching her play.”
We asked Brent what the reception was from opposing players and parents. What did they think of playing against a girl?
“At the start of the season, opposing players’ parents thought she was cute until she scored on them. The league is very competitive and the players, coaches, and parents really want to win. I heard many parents throughout the season yell out to their kids to play harder so they don’t lose to a girl. I have no doubt that boys played harder against Sam because they didn’t want to lose to a girl,” Brent says.
“After the first few games teams started to game plan for her and a number of coaches admitted to me after the games that their team focused on stopping Sam all week long during practices. Sam’s coach then made some adjustments and her team won four in a row to end the regular season.”
Gordon recognized that football wouldn’t be a sport Sam plays long-term. He says she also is a soccer player.
“Sam will shift from football to soccer in the fall after a couple of years. Soccer isn’t as intense as football at this age and I think some skills and experiences playing football will help her with other sports. Her football team practiced two hours a day six days a week for the five weeks leading up to the start of the season and then three nights a week and a game on Saturday once the season started.”
If Sam is as good at soccer as she is at football — and her quickness and footwork probably translates well to the sport — then it wouldn’t be surprising to see her make some noise on the pitch.
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