By Sarah Slayman
Isabella Jones challenges norms by trying any sport that peaks her interest. This season, she’s a football player.
Jones, a fourth grader from the south of Columbus, has always been one to try something new for the fun of it. She has particularly excelled within the world of sports and strongly believes that girls can be amazing athletes. She has demonstrated this herself with the wide variety of teams she’s joined including the cheer squad, running club, jiu jitsu academy, and wrestling team.
This past year, Jones observed how much fun her brother had on his football team and approached her parents with the idea of trying it.
Her parents, Julia and Ezekiel Jones, were skeptical at first, wanting to keep her safe. She persisted with the case that her brother does it and she’s just as capable. She also noted that there were no girls on the field and thought that if other girls could see her having fun, they might be brave enough to try it too.
“I wanted to show everybody that girls can do anything,” said Jones.
A Grove City recreation league welcomed her as the only girl this fall, with her parents being her biggest fans.
“I’m so proud of her diving into something so new and challenging,” Julia said.
Jones joined the team with some adversity and her family caught rumblings of her being incapable of lasting the entirety of the season. She has not been discouraged; she is simply too busy with excitement over all she is learning. Some teammates have befriended her and helped her learn the ropes, as this is not their first season. She feels cared for and has so much fun playing next to them.
Jones spoke to some highlights of her experience and noted that tackling is one of her favorite aspects of the sport, something her dad is particularly proud of, and catching is something she feels excited to improve on. Team meals and celebrating victories are something that light up her face as she recalls their wins.
“We’re unstoppable,” she said.
Her parents remark of her resilience throughout the entire experience. Jones is significantly physically smaller than most everyone she competes against, but seems to bounce right up after being overtaken. Her parents said Jones is an example to all for humbly taking on challenges with a buoyant determination.