For the players hitting the gridiron Friday night, the love of playing football starts at a young age.
That is no different for two players in particular who are getting to play the sport they love and break down traditional gender stereotypes.
Bailee Schultz is a sophomore at Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan and C.J. Weaver is a senior at Roosevelt. Both are on their football teams and both are women. Schultz and Weaver both started playing football at a young age and always saw themselves as one of the guys.
"I just like to get out there, tackle, hit," Schultz said.
That is a feeling shared by everyone on the Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan football team. For Schultz, the concept of team is important. They work as one, no matter what and in Schultz's case, no matter the gender.
"I just love going out there. I just feel that I fit in with everyone else; I don't feel that I'm out," Schultz said.
Schultz fell in love with sports at a young age.
"Recess. I was just out there with the boys playing football. I just always liked it. My dad was always a big football fan," Schultz said.
She grew up playing football with the boys she now calls teammates, so her playing on the football team is not a strange concept. Schultz still faces challenges because she is a girl.
"They ask why I'm playing. I always hear some people mumble under their breath or something but I just kind of walk away," Schultz said.
The path to the football team is very similar for Weaver.
"When I was younger, it was a little bit tougher, but now I'm treated just the same as everyone else," Weaver said.
She loves to put on the pads and hit someone hard.
"It used to kind of rattle me a little bit, especially when I first started. It kind of just scared me, but I got over it and it's one of my favorite things now. It's why I play defense," Weaver said.
Weaver has played volleyball and basketball before, but the team dynamic in football is what interests her the most.
"With football, you were really more part of the team, I think. It was a close-knit group of guys and it was more fun doing that," Weaver said.
And that has led this senior to stay involved with football for a long time.
"Going off to college, I want to be a high school football coach someday," Weaver said.
Each person taking the field, regardless of gender, shares one thing in common.
"I just always been a big football fan," Schultz said.
Schultz still has a couple years left in high school, and she plans on tackling anyone in her path on the football field while she's there.