'I do everything they do': Jayda Duval first-ever girl on Balfour Bears football team

When Jayda Duval showed up at her high school's boys' football tryouts, it took the coaches and the other players a while to realize she was there to play, not be a team trainer.

"They were all pretty shocked. They didn't think I'd last a day," she said. 

Now the 16-year-old wide receiver is the first girl to ever play on the Balfour Bears high school football team. 

Duval found her way to tackle football after her aggression was a liability in flag football. 

"I got a lot of penalties in different sports for being too aggressive," she said on CBC Radio's The Morning Edition

"I kind of wanted to try something [where I could] tackle people."

Submitted by Jayda Duval

Duval also plays on the Victorias, a Regina Minor Football team for girls in Grades 7 to 12, and the Regina Riot, who play in the Western Women's Canadian Football League. She said being on three teams plus school means she doesn't have a lot of free time. The Riot's season doesn't start until February, but right now she has two practices on most days, one with each of Balfour and the Victorias. 

"It is very busy. I usually never have time off," she said. 

Submitted by Jayda Duval

Trying out for the all-boys team at Balfour was an interesting experience. People didn't believe she could do it, Duval said.

"They [said] 'Nah, the conditioning will be so bad, you'll quit,' " she said.

She said the talk was discouraging, but she didn't back down. 

"I went to the camp and then noticed once I did good, they were starting to respect me," she said. "If they can respect me after I try and hustle hard then there shouldn't be a problem being on the team."

Duval said she has had girls tell her they've started playing with the Victorias because they wanted to play football like her. 

"I thought that was pretty cool," she said.

She said she wants other girls to not to be afraid to try contact sports. 

"The football community is really welcoming no matter what team you're on. Football is a pretty hard sport and it's something that you grow better at and people respect you for trying the sport, especially as a girl."