Student Well-Being

Nine-Year-Old Female Football Star Lands on Wheaties Box

By Bryan Toporek — November 26, 2012 1 min read
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Samantha “Sweet Feet” Gordon, a 9-year-old football player from Herriman, Utah, found herself on the cover of a one-of-its-kind Wheaties box while making an appearance last week on “Good Morning America” and ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Samantha became a viral sensation earlier this month when a video of her highlight reel hit YouTube, showing her dancing circles around the male players in her youth-football league. She ran for roughly 2,000 yards and scored 35 touchdowns for her team this past season, captivating the attention of sports fans and female sports advocates nationwide. (“She is our mission in action,” the Women Sports Foundation said in early November.)

“When she was about 3 or 4 years old and we would play soccer out in the yard with my older son ... and they’d try to be a little bit rough with her and push her down and even intentionally try to kick the ball at her and she wouldn’t be fazed and would keep getting up, even as a little girl,” Sam’s father, Brent Gordon, said this month on “Good Morning America.” “I kind of had an idea that she’s got an aggressive mentality back then.”

Her father told USA Today that of the 172 youths who tried out for the team, Sam tested fastest in every speed and agility drill.

He admitted on “GMA” that he was concerned about uploading Sam’s highlight reel at first, as the footage shows his daughter taking a few hard hits from male players, especially toward the end of the video. However, he told Yahoo! Sports that she’s only been shaken up once from a hit. The video also features a few clips of Gordon laying out fellow league mates, proving that she’s just as able to dish out punishment as well as she takes it.

General Mills Inc., the makers of Wheaties, told the Associated Press that Sam’s box won’t be for sale in stores. That doesn’t diminish the accomplishment in her eyes, though.

Sam told “SportsCenter” that she thought it was “really great” making it onto the Wheaties box.

“My mom, she told me that this is a real athletic breakfast and that only real athletes get on it and that Michael Jordan was on it for a long time,” she said. “So I’m really proud to be on the Wheaties box.”

What’s Sam’s favorite part about playing football?

“Being the girl out there and scoring on the boys and the boys being like, ‘Dangit, I just got beat by a girl,’ ” she said.

Here’s the full clip of her SportsCenter appearance:


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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.