Thea Digiammerino

CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Boys Soccer Team Embraces Female Player

Every high school team needs a leader, but sometimes that person isn’t who’d you expect.

"It was a passion, it was a drive, but it seemed like something was missing,” said CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering boys soccer coach, Oscar Perez. “There wasn't that commander."

Not until last season, when the Aerospace boys soccer team found a leader in a girl.

"I asked to play on the boys team and they said as long as I make the team, I can play on the team,” said Aerospace junior, Sabrina Porter.

Porter made the cut last season as a sophomore.

"The first game that she came out with us, as a coach, you're a little nervous for her,” Perez said.

There was no reason to be nervous. Porter scored in her first game, and 20 seconds into their home opener, in front of an awestruck school.

"They're like, ‘woah’,” Porter said. “And the other team was pretty taken aback."

The fight to play with the boys was the easy part. Porter carries a much more difficult battle with her every day.

"I lost like 15 to 20 pounds,” said Porter of the end of her eighth grade year. “I was really thirsty, really hungry. We went to the doctors and my blood sugar was 500."

Porter was diagnosed with diabetes.

It was a total lifestyle change of always having something to worry about, Porter said.

But just like learning to play soccer, Porter learned how to manage playing sports as a diabetic. She now wears a patch on her arm and on her stomach, which can monitor her blood sugar from her smart watch and phone.

"I find myself every three minutes just checking her blood sugar and I'm like ok Sabrina, you're at 140, you're good, you're at 130, you're good,” said Perez, who watches her levels during practice and games.

It’s a team effort from a group that's made it clear they don't want to see her on the bench. She was just named captain to start off her 2018 season.

"Gender really doesn't matter when it comes to ability,” said Porter. “I still think there's a lot of work to be done with how society thinks of it, but I'm glad that I can take one step in making it change."

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