Family fighting Palacios Junior High School to let daughter on football team


Hailey Fuentes comes across as shy and sweet when meeting a stranger, but there's nothing timid about what she wants to do on the football field.

"I like to hit the other teams so we can win," she said.

She remembers what she learned on her pee wee team last year.

"You have to tackle the people trying to get the runners of the football," she said.

Through her father's eyes, his little girl can do anything she sets her mind to.

"I'm a firm believer you've gotta fight for what you want," father Alex Fuentes said.

So her mother, Melissa Lara, was surprised after meeting with the athletic director, Hailey would not be allowed on the seventh grade football team at Palacios Junior High School.

"He just flat out told me that she wasn't going to play because he doesn't think that she can handle it," Lara said.

"I'm a girl and he doesn't want to allow me on his team," Hailey Fuentes said.

"'I believe females should not mix with males,' that is what he said," Alex Fuentes said.

Superintendent Vicki Adams says the district does not have a specific policy on the issue but adds:

"Legally, since we offer an alternative sport (volleyball), a female student may participate in football but a district does not have to allow it. UIL rules are the same."

"Don't ever give up, just keep going, trying," Hailey Fuentes said.

Older brother Andrew is a senior on the football team and older sister Miranda, a freshman, is on the junior varsity team.

This football family is convinced Hailey should be a biting Shark too.

"She's not going to be taken down easily," Alex Fuentes said.

Hailey Fuentes and her parents are scheduled to meet with the superintendent Friday. They say they are also prepared to take the issue to the school board.

Find Christine on Facebook at ABC13ChristineDobbyn or on Twitter at @christinedobbyn

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