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Written by: Tristan Klinefelter on Friday, April 23rd, 2021
When looking at the football squad at Kensington High School in Philadelphia there is one athlete that stands out in particular. She is a senior named Ja’Niyah Collins.
Collins, a senior this year has been a member of the Kensington football team since her Sophomore year of high school. Collins has been playing flag football since middle school and has fallen in love with it ever since. Not only does Collins excel at football but she is also a very good basketball player and track and field athlete.
In an interview with Collins, she said “My favorite sport is basketball because of the aggressiveness. I play down low and in the paint”. However, when it comes to football Collins’s favorite part is learning new plays. Collins is a wide receiver and defensive back for the Tigers. One of Collins’s favorite memories is on the defensive side of the ball and it was her first time playing. “I wasn’t sure what to do so my coach said to make sure they don’t pass up on a deep route but I got a pass interference but he said it was ok.”
Head coach Steve Quigley commented about Collins saying, “Ja’Niyah is committed. She has been there almost every day. She plays basketball and she would have basketball then come to football right after”.
One of the best parts Collins emphasized was the openness and acceptance of her teammates. Collins went into detail about how much her team welcomes her and treats her like any player on the field. Opponents are shocked but I have never heard anything disrespectful.
Quigley also mentioned how much pride he has for the team being so accepting. He added, “She is one of us. We have kids come from seven different schools and we are accepting of everyone who comes to play”.
At the end of the interview, Collins gave some words of advice to females looking to play football just like her but are hesitant. She said, “Anytime someone tries to doubt you, take that energy and throw it back at them and prove them wrong”.
The Kensington Tigers are set to play their final game of the Spring today against George Washington at 3 p.m. For Collins football is just another sport she played in high school. Collins will graduate this June and is heading to Northampton Community College to play basketball.
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