In Hope Mills, girl makes school history by winning spot on Gray's Creek Middle football team

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Julia Napoli, an eighth-grader at Gray's Creek Middle School, is making history as the first girl to make the football team.

Julia Napoli, an eighth-grader at Gray's Creek Middle School, is making history.

Napoli is the first girl to make the middle school football team. She was one of 40 to make the team; about 52 players tried out.

Napoli has always loved football. She began playing in fourth grade during recess. From there she wrote a story about a girl playing football and made that story a reality this year.

"She's very determined and she's got the mindset of if you tell me I can't, I'm going to do it just to prove it to you that I can," her mother, Jen Napoli said.

Coach Dante Murphy said he sees her playing either receiver or safety.

"She's an athlete," Murphy said. "We didn't take into account that she was a girl or a boy ... she showed that she could be a Bruin."

The Bruins' first game is Thursday, October 4.

Napoli said she hopes to inspire other young girls to play football.
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sportscumberland county schoolsschool athleticswomen athletescool kidsfootballHope MillsCumberland County
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