A local girl with a passion for football who wasn’t allowed to play this season appeared on the Ellen Show today.
11-year-old Caroline Pla of Doylestown says she’s wanted to play football since she was 3-years-old. It was at this tender age when she went up to her brother’s football coach and said, “When I turn 5, I’m going to play for you.”
Caroline followed through on her dream, playing tackle football for Pop Warner when she was 5-years-old until she turned 10.
Caroline played for the Bucks County CYO league for all of 2011. She also played for the first two games of 2012 before an opposing team reported her. While she finished the 2012 season, the archdiocese banned the season when it was over.
Caroline’s family learned that girls weren’t allowed to play CYO football for “safety reasons.” Even though she was chosen for the all-star team, Caroline wasn’t allowed to play in the all-star game because of her ban.
“When Caroline first showed up for CYO, the boys said, ‘Um, there’s a girl’” said her coach. “She punched them in the mouth and knocked them on their butts in practice and then they treated her like one of them.”
After learning she was banned from the league, Caroline started a petition on change.org and reached out to the media.
Caroline, who plays defensive end and guard, received the “most inspirational player” of the year award.
Caroline’s teachers, town, coaches, teammates and Ellen DeGeneres have all signed the petition. Caroline also received a gift basket from Notre Dame, her favorite football team, with VIP tickets to opening day as well as other Notre Dame goodies.
Be sure to watch Ellen at 3 p.m. today to see Caroline’s appearance.