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Buffalo girl helps to break barriers on the football field

Posted at 6:35 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 20:42:31-04

Dedication, drive, and determination. They're qualities you spot almost right away in the Buffalo Vets Stallions football team.

But among the 10 and 11 year olds, one otherwise unique player blends among the rest. “My roster consists of 29 boys and one special athlete who happens to be an 11-year-old girl,” explained Head Coach, Vince Staples.

He’s referring to Keily Shamburger. She's tough and although she's often outsized, Shamburger's dad said she is just like any other player on the football team. “They love her. So, she's a good team player. She's one of the guys,” explained Gene Shamburger.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ali Touhey: As her mom, are you nervous with her out there with other boys?
Keily’s mom, Angel Addison: I mean, I get nervous just like every other parent, girl or boy. But, you know, I know it's what she wants to do. So, I don't want to stop her from doing what she's passionate about.

“One time I got the wind knocked out of me because I fell on the ball. But, that's it,” Keily said.

This is Shamburger's second year on the team. “She was out doing a lot of drills that most of the boys couldn't do I decided we have something special here, we need to keep her,” Staples said. 

“I just like it,” Keily said.

So much so, in fact, Shamburger isn't shy about her football aspirations. “She claims she wants to be the first female player in the NFL,” said Angel. 

That remains to be seen. But Shamburger’s coaches believe there's no telling where her talent will take her.