Exeter, NH (Gray News) – It’s tough being a girl on a middle school football team dominated by boys. Now, try being the quarterback.
Seventh-grader Dejah Rondeau started three games for the Exeter Seahawks this past season, after the initial starting QB went down with an injury.
Her mom, Nichole Brock, said Dejah endured a lot of bullying.
“Some people don’t want to accept a female quarterback. She’ll have to put in 110 percent when others are putting in 50,” Brock told Seacoastonline. “But Dejah becoming the quarterback is the best thing that could happen to her. She’s worked really hard at it.”
The Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots found out about Dejah’s story and wanted to encourage her to continue to follow her dream.
She got to tour the team facilities and meet her favorite Pats player Julian Edelman. She wears No. 11 in his honor.
“Hear we got a quarterback here, take (Tom) Brady’s spot,” the wide receiver said when the two met.
“I heard about your story, about going out there and having a challenge, of dealing with adversity because people not accepting this, that,” Edelman said in a video released by the team on Twitter.
“My respect level for you is just through the roof because you just ignored all the noise and you played the game we all love and that’s football.”
Edelman and the team also had a surprise for their new friend.
“We’re going to bring you to the Super Bowl, too, if that’s cool,” Edelman said as he handed her two tickets to the Super Bowl in Atlanta. “Do you have any plans next Sunday?”
Looks like she does now.
“That was crazy. I never thought that would ever happen. I’m just really excited to go,” Dejah said, clutching her game tickets and grinning ear-to-ear.