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Hailey Vas: Linebacker Leads through Adversity

Senior outside linebacker, Hailey Vas, has invested her high school years into growing as a football player. The Delta, Utah athlete has pushed through the hardship of injury and is returning in a powerful comeback to finish her high school career. Hailey’s next dream is adding her name to the expanding list of female football coaches leading the sport.

I love football in every way I can. I love watching my team do well. I love traveling with my team. I love cheering for the boys. I love making tackles. I love the atmosphere. I love my coaches.

The first girl in this town to join the high school football team, I've faced a lot of backlash and judgement. The most noticeable conflict I had was with my own teammates. We had a big conflict this past summer, but we've grown through it and come to an understanding. Now we're hoping to take state as a more unified team.

My career started when an announcement for a football meeting was directed to the boys at school. They told the boys in the year above me to go to a coach's classroom for a meeting if they wanted more information on the season. My interest in football sparked. I asked my friends whether or not a girl could play. There were no rules against it, so I showed up for football camp the summer before my freshman year. I've played ever since.

I hope to become a football coach in the future. I will consider competing in the Women’s National Football Conference, but I have to see how it goes with my knee this season. I'm coming back after a torn ACL injury for half of my senior season. I played a great game in my last game before my knee injury. I was making plays and reading my keys so I could be in the right places to help my team win and we did. I was devastated to lose time on the field for recovery. It's been a long journey, but I'm ready to get back at it.

I would tell other girls interested in playing football, yes, getting tackled hurts, but there's nothing you'll find quite like the feeling of a team. These boys are my brothers and I wouldn't trade football for anything.

Photos: Emma Watson, Instagram: @emmawatsonphotography

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