Girl Power

Annaleese Thomas makes history with two-point conversion

History was made Friday night on Tom Fisher Field and little girl athletes everywhere can look to Zephyrhills’ senior Annaleese Thomas as inspiration.

Thomas became the first female varsity football player in Zephyrhills history to score points in a varsity football game and she did it in the Bulldogs’ 56-0 win in the Nine-Mile War.

Senior running back Jaylin Thomas (no relation) scored on a 32-yard TD run, but it was the PAT that was the play of the night.

Coaches on the sideline began screaming, “Annaleese! Annaleese!” And the 5-foot-3-inch, 140-pound lineman trotted out onto the field and lined up as a running back with senior linebacker Theotis Smith next to her for the two-point conversion try.

Bulldog Quarterback Jaxson Rivera took the snap handing off to Thomas who, with some assistance from her teammates, muscled into the end zone for the two-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 29-0 lead in the second quarter. It was her first carry of her football career.

“That is a play we put in for her,” Carroll said. “She is a great kid and a great addition to our team. We all accept her as another player and we’re happy for her. She definitely deserves it.”

Thomas’ fete earned her the distinction of being the only female varsity football player in Zephyrhills football history to score points.

“All the adrenaline was pumping through my body and I went out there and did it,” Thomas said. “I was told all week to hold onto the ball and follow my blockers. There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears and they push me everyday to be better.”

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