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Dolloff proves herself on the football team
RUMFORD -- It has been quite a ride, however, Brooke Dolloff still finds its hard to believe that her football career is over.
Still, the Mountain Valley student-athlete proved to herself and others that regardless of gender, an individual with desire and determination can compete in any sporting event.
When Dolloff decided to play freshmen year she would play all four years because she was not going to be the girl who quit. There has been plenty of support along the way, but coach Jim Aylward said it best during a late practice “she’s the son Gary never had” football is something we have done together my whole life,'' said Dolloff.
Her dad Gary coaches MV middle school. ''My favorite thing is coming off the field and making eye contact with my dad on the side lines, whether he’s giving me a thumbs up for a good play or laughing at (blotched play) its good to know he’s there and watching me every play. My mom is also a huge supporter, she goes to every game. She might be nervous for me out there but you’re going to tell me that every other boys mom isn’t.''
Also, Dolloff had an incentive to play all these years, for late cousin Lucas Dolloff; honored him by wearing LD 7 stickers on her helmet and have every year since he passed in 2006.
''Brooke was awesome to coach,'' said Aylward. ''Her dedication served as a great example for younger players. She never took the easy path. She worked as hard and was expected to perform just like her teammates.''
Aylward added that Brooke became a varsity caliber football player, two-year letter winner, through her dedication and her hard work. Nothing was ever given to her and should be commended for what she has accomplished.
There are so many memories that Dolloff will take from playing football. This fall, she caught an onside kick in the homecoming game against Wells. ''I was so shocked that I caught it, I was shaking,'' said Dolloff. ''I ran off the field to see my dad even more excited then me, a moment I will never forget.''
Dolloff, who started playing in third grade for the AYF Steelers, wasn't treated any different then all the boys.
Dolloff said that football has really taught her patience, whether it be at another school for some where to change/shower or at MV outside the team room. This included enduring teammate crap from both sides, but Dolloff doesn't mind and can dish it out. This year, teammates did a double take and say to someone “when did we get a girl on the team!?”
''Like I couldn’t hear them and they didn’t already know,'' said Dolloff, who missed a handful of practices in entire career. ''I told them if they’re going to make girl jokes they need to be funny and come up with some new material. I love my team to death.''
Opposing players make comments, including the occasional “good game babe” during postgame hand shaking; in a JV game last year when coach Rick White was having Dolloff run the ball, from the seven yard line and “don’t let the girl score!”
''Like I said you just have laugh and prove them wrong,'' said Dolloff , who did, and scored. ''My favorite thing that's ever been said to me is “are you ready to get put on your ass princess?” I laughed and took it as a complement, there's nothing wrong with being a princess.''
Interestingly, Dolloff was literally knocked on her Keister in the season opener at Westbrook. When asked if hurt, she simply replied “it hurt my pride.”
''I get knocked down just like everybody else,'' admitted Dolloff, who plans to study Graphic Design in college. ''And I have to get up just the same and try not to let it happen again.''
Dolloff couldn’t imagine playing and growing up with any other group of boys, that accepted her into a family. The coaching staff has been great, including coach Bob Laubauskas who ribbed her about hitting like a girl on the bag drill.