Ten-year-old Layla Wilson was drawn to soccer after watching her older brother Peyton Wilson play.

She thought it was cool, so she tried it, and she or he actually appreciated it.

Opponents aren’t too excited to play in opposition to her, however not as a result of she’s a lady. It is as a result of she’s a handful, whether or not she is speeding towards the ball as a defensive sort out or defending the quarterback and operating backs as an offensive lineman.

As a participant for the Central Davidson groups, Layla earned a spot on the all-star workforce in Davidson County Parks and Recreation’s Junior Peewee and Peewee leagues. She was additionally named workforce captain for her Peewee workforce this 12 months.

Layla enjoys basketball, swimming, volleyball, softball and soccer, however soccer is her favourite.

“It is completely different,” Layla stated. “I like the way in which it is performed.”

Layla, who’s now a fourth grader, has performed soccer since she was in first grade. She’s all the time been the one lady on her workforce. She wears No. 44 as a result of she doubled the jersey variety of her brother.

She believes that some boys underestimate her, however she’s by no means let it cease her.

“I really feel like (I am more durable), I do not know if I actually am,” Layla chuckled. “My dad and mom say I’m.”

She’s performed middle the previous few years after her brother observed how properly she snapped the soccer one time at follow. On protection, she assaults the offensive line from the within.

Layla stated enjoying middle is particular as a result of she has to snap the ball to the quarterback to start out the offensive play. She enjoys enjoying defensive position as a result of it is simpler to get by way of and get to 1 spot.

She believes her greatest moments on the sector are when she makes a stable sort out or block.

“To get a sort out or to get a block, you are type of happy with your self as a result of you do not know what would’ve occurred for those who missed that sort out otherwise you let down your block and he bought by way of the road otherwise you let that particular person get to a sure level,” Layla stated. “You are happy with your self as a result of you understand that particular person isn’t going to cease another person.”

Layla stated she was proud to be voted a workforce captain as a result of she did not assume anybody would vote for her as a result of she was the one lady.

In accordance with Layla, considered one of her major duties as a workforce captain was to maintain everybody so as on and off the sector.

“Typically once we weren’t doing too good, the coaches wanted to speak, and the workforce captains wanted to speak to the workforce to see what was happening and what we might do to repair it,” Layla stated.

Layla’s mother Brooke Wilson stated she is happy with her daughter’s success on the sector. For each recreation, she wears a shirt that reads, “My daughter blocked your son,” together with her daughter’s quantity on the again.

Brooke stated she’s seen her daughter energy by way of two-hour practices when it is sizzling throughout the summer season and chilly throughout the fall. She believes Layla earned her spots as a starter and as an all-star.

“I am proud to stroll subsequent to her coming into video games as a result of she’s proper, individuals underestimate her,” Brooke stated. “The primary couple years, I used to braid her hair beneath the helmet and put bows behind her hair. As soon as she hit third grade, her coach advised me to take them out of her hair as a result of they did not need anybody to single her out for that motive, however we have actually not had a problem as a result of she holds her personal on the market.”

Due to Layla’s aggressiveness, Brooke stated she generally calls her “gunpowder and lead.”

Brooke believes her daughter will transfer mountains when she’s older.

“It is fairly neat to see that she’s making these strides and she or he would not permit stereotypes or stigmas to gradual her down,” Brooke stated. “I want different women would play together with her, however she would not appear to thoughts being the one lady, however they gotta be powerful to do it.”

Matthew Hogrefe has coached Layla for the previous two seasons.

Hogrefe stated Layla was the workforce’s greatest total participant and that management was considered one of her greatest strengths.

He initially thought groups would deal with her in another way, however he observed that she takes extra hits than half the boys on the workforce. To this system, coaches and fogeys, she’s simply one other participant.

“You assume lady on the soccer discipline, being a pacesetter, that is not sometimes what you consider, however she’s good, she is aware of the sport and she or he takes teaching properly, and she or he’s an athlete — all these issues assist her,” Hogrefe stated.

Layla has performed two years in Junior Peewee and two years in Peewee. The following step could be Little League, however she is not positive but whether or not she’ll play subsequent 12 months.

If she does determine to play, will probably be excellent news for her teammates, however dangerous information for the remainder of the league.

“I feel (I’ve loved) the time (my teammates and I) spend collectively and the exhausting work and follow — it simply pays off,” Layla stated.

Ben Coley might be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 227 or at [email protected] Comply with Ben on Twitter: @LexDispatchBC



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