A Fresh Face for Football

Isabella Minelli makes thunder history as the only female lineman to ever be on the football team.

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A Fresh Face for Football

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There’s a new freshman on the football team who has caught everyone’s attention. How you might ask?

She’s a girl.

Here at Rocklin High School, we have had female kickers in the past, but never a lineman.

This begs the question, what made her want to join football?

“I used to live in back in Mountain House where there were no sports that females were allowed to play, so I was not athletic at all. I didn’t have anything to do. Once I finally moved here to Rocklin, I first got to meet the wrestling coach. He introduced me to some sports where I really thrived, and it’s something that I really have a passion for. Especially football.”


What’s it like being on the team?

“It was a little scary at first being the only girl, because you don’t have the exact same qualities as the others. At first, I thought when they were pushing me to go harder – they were picking on me, but they were really just helping me and being a good teammate.”

Do you think that anybody here at Rocklin (other than football players) treat you differently because you’re on the team?

“Sometimes. Before they knew I was on the football team, they just treated me like one of the others. Once they found out they [saw] me as some type of gem. Then they’re suddenly wanting to hang out with me. Some of the people are [also] stereotypical, because I play an abnormal sport for girls. They’ll [assume] I’m transgender or lesbian, but that ain’t the case. There’s nothing wrong with [being] that, but it’s not good to judge like that.”

Do you plan to play football all four years of high school?

“I’m gonna try my best to. Right now, there’s still some things going on with my family that I need to work on [money wise]. Right now, everyday after practice, I have to work to get some money to pay rent for our apartment. If it all goes well in the future, I’m going to try to thrive and do my best for Rocklin.”

Isabella is also an artist, and commissions her work.

How long have you been doing art for?

“Just like I said, back in Mountain House, girls couldn’t play any sports. [In] my free time, I would usually do like sharpie tattoos for people to make some money. I would [also] sell my drawings and stuff.”

Do you see art as a career you want to go into?

“Maybe. I’m still figuring out whether I want to be on the creative side or the sports side.”

Are you still planning on doing wrestling?

“Yes of course. I’m gonna try and get that girl program growing. I’m trying to inspire others to do it as well. Some of my friends are willing to join and I’m really happy about that.”

What’s your favorite part about football?

“My favorite part is that even though I’m not the best on the team, you get to learn a lot.”

Clearly, Isabella is one of a kind. She’s already made thunder history in her freshman year, so who knows what else she will bring to the table. We should all definitely be excited.