A 12-year-old girl from Georgia was upset when she was told this summer that she could no longer play on the boy's football team.
And while Maddy Paige made it back on the field this season, she's playing for a different team.
Maddy Paige is being homeschooled this year and playing on a youth recreational league. (Image via WAGA video screenshot)
In June, Paige was told by officials at Strong Rock Christian School, a private school in Locust Grove, that for Biblical reasons she could no longer play football with the boys as she did in the sixth grade.
WAGA-TV reported at the time how the decision left Paige's mother upset:
Paige’s mother, Cassy Blythe, said that the CEO of the school gave a number of reasons why her daughter should not play, including saying that boys may have impure thoughts and noting that it’s private and they can do what they want. At one point, Blythe said that the CEOcited the Bible.
“They couldn’t find an exact quote of why she shouldn’t play,” said Blythe. “He said, ‘The best I can up with is that men and women are created equal but different.’ And that is all he could say.”
Paige left the school, which she had attended since the first grade, over the issue with Blythe deciding to homeschool her. The preteen is now playing defensive lineman for a youth recreational league. Page told WAGA, "all the guys are completely fine with me being on the team."
Paige was told by her former Christian school she could not play in the seventh grade as she had in the sixth. She left the school because of this decision. (Image via WAGA video screenshot)
Her coach, Henry Smith, told the local news station he initially was telling the boys on the team to go a little easy on Paige, but she balked.
"...her first thing was, 'nah coach don't take it easy on me, because I'm not going to take it easy on them,'" he said.
Paige hopes to continue playing football for a long time, saying she wants to be the first female to receive a college scholarship for it.
"Sports aren't about gender. They're about, if you're able to hold yourself, then you should be able to play," she said.
Watch Paige talk about her aspirations on the field in WAGA's report: