She’s not just “one of the guys.” She is actually better than all of the guys. And not just
the ones on her team. But she is better than all of the guys in the entire league. In fact,
it’s safe to say that she may be the best 11-year-old running back in the entire country
without regards to gender. Autaliah Williams rushed for 30 touchdowns this season
and averaged four touchdowns per game! Her teammates call her the ATM; the
Automatic Touchdown Machine, because it seems like every time she gets the ball she
scores a touchdown.  Autaliah isn’t the only girl on her team, but she is the most
impactful. She plays for the
Southeast Saints in Yakima, Washington. The Southeast
Saints are part of the
Yakima Valley Grid Kids program. Their stated purpose is “to
provide and promote the opportunity for youth to participate in a structured youth
football program.”

Autaliah is in the sixth grade and attends Franklin Middle School in Yakima,
Washington. Football is not just about fun and games for Autaliah. According to her
mother Priscilla, Autaliah has a pretty hot temper and playing football was just
supposed to be a way for her to channel her aggression. No one expected her to be so
good at it. Her first year she actually wasn’t that good, but now she is more focused
and taking the game more seriously, and is kicking butt and taking names this year!
She is showing everybody that football is not just for boys anymore.  

Autaliah is just one of a growing number of girls across the country who are playing
football.  Estimates place the number of female high school football players at
approximately 1,700 this year. Joe Mazur of brought us the story of
Breana Garcia, an 8th grade girl who plays right guard and kicker, and is known as
one of the most aggressive players on her team.  Also, the Niagara Gazette introduced
us to 13-year-old captain
Kendra Cheers of Edward Town Middle School.  Additionally,
there is
Shelly Osborne of Jefferson High School in Indiana. She has signed with
Campbellsville University in Kentucky where she will become the first female to play
defensive back in college football.  And, not only are more and more girls playing
football, but they are beating out a lot of boys for starting positions on their high school
football teams, and some are even earning college scholarships while there are many
boy players who failed to earn one. Annie Oakley would be very proud of these girls for
showing the boys that '
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better.' (click here if you have
no idea what that means)  
Girl, Is She Good!
Watch coverage of Breana Garcia