DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - A pony-tailed 11-year-old girl who wants to continue her all-star performance on the gridiron is trying to avoid being sacked by the Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia.
Sixth-grader Caroline Pla is fighting the archdiocese for the right to keep playing church-sponsored youth football. She's been battling boys since she was 5. She's played the last two seasons in a Catholic Youth Organization league. Pla -- a 5-foot-3, 110-pound offensive tackle and defensive end -- made the all-star team.
While at least a few U.S. dioceses let girls play football, and about 1,600 girls play on U.S. high school teams, the Philadelphia league is open only to boys. She says she's been told that that football is a boys sport, that safety is the issue and that football is inappropriate touching. She says church league officials are really just looking for excuses.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
President Barack Obama credits God's grace for his accomplishments.
Pope Francis urged his church to be more welcoming, but he also gave a warning.