Cheyenne Kneller: Leading the Way
Cheyenne Kneller is a 7th grade lineman for the Troy Trojans in Pennsylvania. She first discovered her love for football during recess, joining in pick-up games of primarily boys. Her family also watched football at home frequently and Cheyenne was able to build her knowledge of the game. After playing during school and a year of being on the field as a cheerleader and a soccer player, Cheyenne started her tackle football career in 3rd grade. The now 13-year-old has spent the past four seasons fine-tuning her skills and is now able to dominate where needed on the offensive or defensive line.
Cheyenne has set a precedent for female athletes in Troy. A leader and role model for those around her, there has now been an increase of younger girls playing throughout the organization. Cheyenne’s sister also plays football and there is a female quarterback on the program’s 1st and 2nd grade team. She encourages her peers, including those active in other sports, to compete in football. “Don't be afraid to try it. It might not be as tough as you think.”
This junior high season so far she’s had a quarterback sack and continues to increase her count of tackles. Her team is undefeated and her grade has made it to the league championship game every year. She is still working towards a starting spot this season and is one of the first up off the sidelines. Cheyenne earned the “Hard Hat" for her aggressive play.
Supported by encouraging coaches and teammates, Cheyenne has advocated for her space in transition times to get ready for practices and competition. “I just have to speak up when it's needed.” Cheyenne plans to keep playing football, basketball and possibly track and field through high school. She loves showing people that she will succeed. Cheyenne will continue to grow in her career and lead the way for football players in her city.