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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kearns HS: Dorcus Angilau

Tough cookie

It's the love of the game that keeps her on the field

By Heidi Bruce
Deseret Morning News
Dorcus Angilau does not fit any stereotypes. She's not the "girl next door," but she's not exactly the tomboy her reputation would suggest, either.
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Keith Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Dorcus Angilau pursues the ball carrier during Kearns' game against Riverton. Dorcus plays offensive line and linebacker on the junior varsity and sophomore football teams.

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Basically, she is a walking dichotomy. She is intelligent but intuitive, tough but also sweet, and frankly, she looks strong enough to break a person in half.
As a starting lineman on offense and starting linebacker on defense for the Kearns High sophomore team, it's Angilau's toughness that is on display most often.
"She doesn't get favoritism from any boys on the team during hitting drills. If they don't go hard at her, she will knock them down," her coach, Justin Spencer, said.
Angilau has never had a problem fitting in with the guys on her team. She has been playing football with many of these same kids since she was 8 years old, so they have all been friends and teammates for years.
"Honestly, no one treats her any different at all.
The only time I think of her being a girl is when I have to unlock the girls' locker room for her," Spencer said.
In her uniform and pads, Angilau blends in, looking like any other player on the field. If players on the opposing team don't see her with her helmet off, then they often don't even know there is a girl on the field. They also wouldn't be able to tell by the quality of her tackles.
"I think she surprises a lot of people with her play," said Bill Cosper, the Kearns head football coach. "She's very intelligent and can anticipate as well as anyone, so she gets in on a lot of hits."
Besides football, Angilau also plays basketball. Last year, as a freshman, she started on the sophomore basketball team and sat on the bench for junior varsity. She has set high goals for herself and wants to play both football and basketball as long as possible.
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Keith Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Dorcus Angilau is the only female player on the Kearns High junior varsity and sophomore football teams. She has played football since she was 8.

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"I thought she would turn to volleyball in high school, but football is her favorite," her mother, Teresa Angilau, said. "Her dream is to play through college. Kids say that when they are young, but she is sticking to it."
Angilau is also fortunate enough to have strong family support. Her mother is her biggest fan, coming to every game to cheer for her. On the field, her brother Lui Angilau and her cousin Sione Angilau both play on the varsity team.
"It's good because they (Lui and Sione) support me, but they just treat me like any other player," Angilau said.
"At first I was nervous at every game. She's been playing since she was 8, but these boys are so much bigger. As the games go on, though, I can see how strong she is, and I am not nervous anymore. I just watch her like I watch my son," Teresa Angilau, said.
Even though the opposing players are often bigger than Angilau, it hasn't been a problem so far. As a lineman and linebacker, she is involved in almost every play, blocking larger guys and filling holes.
"With Dorcus, it will be interesting in the next few years, because she has always played with and against kids her same size, but now the boys are starting to grow, and she may plane off, so she'll have to play against bigger-size kids," Spencer said.
Angilau is unconcerned, however. She lifts weights and trains with her teammates during the season and runs and lifts at a gym in the offseason. She even aspires to play other positions.
"I'd like to try fullback ... or at least run the ball at some point," Angilau said.
Regardless of how the size and strength of the boys she competes against may change, Dorcus Angilau says it is love of the game that will keep her on the playing field. Her mother, on the other hand, thinks it is something else.
"I think she just likes to hit boys," Teresa Angilau said with a laugh. "And this is a way for her to do it."


E-mail: hbruce@desnews.com

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