King/Drew sophomore Lyric Stevens enjoys learning geometry and algebra (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Throughout her formative years, King/Drew sophomore Lyric Stevens had been too shy to show off her talents or to try something new. This school year, it all changed when she decided to play on the Golden Eagles girl’s Flag Football team.

“I wanted to play flag football since middle school,” Stevens said. “My ninth-grade teacher was a flag football coach last year and she was like “flag football has finally come to high schools now” … so this year I decided to join.”

Since age eight, Stevens played tackle football with the boys in her neighborhood. She did not see girls play football until she was in high school.

“I feel like girls don’t get as much recognition in sports as boys,” Stevens said. “Now, girls get to show that they’re capable to do things too.”

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Stevens helped the Golden Eagles to a 15-7 overall record and a 11-2 Coliseum Record. One quality the squad had was how they uplifted each other through triumphs and mistakes.

“We learn from our mistakes, we tell each other we can do better,” Stevens said.

Her teammates have also been a beacon of encouragement on the field and off.

“My teammates, everyone that’s surrounded me, making me feel like a better person,” Stevens said. “Making me feel like I got this, like I could achieve anything that I want to do, especially my quarterback, everyone on my team.”

On offense, Stevens plays wide receiver, helping the Golden Eagles score over 35 points in three different games. She works to run the right yards and catch passes correctly.

Challenging moments for Stevens are times when she drops passes. Her coaches advise Stevens not to put herself down when mistakes arise.

“I learn from it by going over what I can do better, looking at myself in the videos,” she said. “Running the right routes, making sure that I’m not scared to catch the ball.”

Competing in flag football has not deterred Stevens from excelling in her classes. Stevens understands that academics is her top priority. Her favorite class is Geometry.

“To me, being a student athlete, it can be challenging because … you have to make sure you have good grades,” she said. “I’m keeping my grades up because school is first. It’s school before sports.”

Stevens plans on competing in track and field in the spring. She aspires to graduate from high school as a top student with a 4.0 GPA.

“I want to be an orthodontist when I grow older,” Stevens said. “I want to run track in college and [play] flag football.”