Wendy Alexander/The madera Tribune
Under the watchful eye of Madera Coyotes football special teams coach Russ Stanford, Brisa Meza gets a kick off during the team’s scrimmage.
In 1985, Shaylene Leinbach became the first female to play football at Madera High School. More than 30 years later years later, varsity kicker Brisa Meza is following in her footsteps.
“Just keep focused,” Leinbach said. “Don’t let anyone discourage you, just go for it everyday. If you give your best, you won’t have any regrets.”
Meza’s point after on Madera’s lone touchdown in last week’s win over Hanford proved to be the difference in the 7-6 game. This season, Meza has made five extra points and also hit a 33-yard field goal in Madera’s win over Mission Oak.
“What I love most about playing football is being under those Friday night lights with my team,” Meza said. “That’s my favorite part of it all.”
Meza was in action Friday night when the Coyotes hosted the Merced Bears in the “Governor’s Hat” game in Memorial Stadium.
Meza, 15, was born in Chowchilla, but later moved to Madera when she was in second grade. Coming from a big family, Meza had many influences in her life.
Her parents along with her brothers and cousins provided her an upbringing some girls aren’t accustomed to.
“She grew up around a lot of boys,” Brisa’s brother Ricardo Meza, 23, said. “I think there was about 15 of us between cousins and stuff too and about maybe five girls. She was just a tough girl. I’m not surprised where she is.”
Meza is always open to try new things, her brother said, part of what makes her unique.
“I remember I taught her how to weld,” Meza said….
click here to read more.