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LAKEWOOD -- Christina Auck may be number 8 in her football playbook, butshe's getting number one attention on her team.

She's an 11-year-old girl that loves the gridiron.

"I kind of just wanted to play it. I don't know what kind of brought me to play it," she said.

Auck is in her second year of tackle football with the Lakewood Purple Rangers. This year, as a sixth grader, she's team captain, has a winning record and a few touchdowns to her name.

Sure, she's got a ponytail, but she's proven that doesn't make her an easy target.

"Nobody thinks of her as a girl. She is just one of the guys. She loves being part of it," said her coach Joe Barto. "I love coaching her and the experience I've had."

"It's fun, but it's just normal," said Christina of being the only girl on her team and the ones she competes against.


"She's a beast. She loves playing football," said Barto.
"Her performance gets better every week."

Her dad, Matthew Auck, says Christina played flag football for several years, then decided she wanted the real deal.

"She always gives it one hundred and ten percent, she knows she's got to be better, stronger and faster than the boys, she earns their respect and gets out there and plays hard every single down," he said.

It's evencoined her anickname - Icebox Number 8 - from a character inthe hit flick Little Giants.

"They know I'm tougher than them. They knew I could push them around and it's just cool," she said.

Christinais already thinking forward to big games down the road. And as a fullback and defensive end, she's breaking new gender barriers without even trying.

"I think I'm actually the first girl to play those and be enjoying them," she said.

"I have a feeling I'll still be watching her play at the high school level," said Barto.

Her family says Christina is busy off the field as well. She's a straight A student whoalso enjoys fencing and playing basketball.

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