A Woman Makes a Little College Football History

Haley Van Voorhis, safety for Shenandoah University, is the first female non-kicker to suit up
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 12:39 PM CDT
College Football Breaks a New Barrier
Shenandoah University safety Haley Van Voorhis, No. 10.   (Shenandoah University)

Haley Van Voorhis is a college student majoring in business and, save for one thing, just a typical woman at Virginia's Shenandoah University: The 5-foot-6, 145-pound junior took the field on Saturday as a safety, and in so doing became the NCAA's first-ever football player to do so as a female playing a position other than kicker. As NPR reports, Van Voorhis got her first start on the field, after two seasons on the team, during Shenandoah's rout of Juniata College, and promptly proceeded to rush the quarterback in the course of her team's 48-7 home win, per ABC News.

"To be able to make a step forward is ... an amazing thing," she says, per the Today show. She's now fielding interviews from the likes of such news programs, and she tells Today that "it's not every day that a female gets to play college football," calling her time on the field "just a great moment." Van Voorhis adds, "I've had some people come up to me after the game, [and] until I take my helmet off, they're like, 'Dude, I didn't know you were even a girl.'" (More NCAA football stories.)

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