‘Mighty Mite’ scores first female touchdown

GRANTS PASS, Ore. —  An 8-year-old from Grants Pass is leading her team to victory on the field and finishing off opponents on the mat.

The love of sports bonded Audrie and Raquel Sanchez as mother and daughter, when Audrie was just three years old.

“Her dad and I both played sports growing up, so if anything it runs through her blood,” Raquel said.

Audrie’s been playing football for four years.

“Running back and QB, but my main position is QB,” Audrie said.

At 8-years-old, she is the only girl on her team, but gender is no barrier on the field.

They say football isn’t for the faint of heart and no one is questioning Audrie’s heart after she lead her team to a winning season. At this year’s championship game for Pop Warner, she led the Mitey Mites to victory, as the first female to quarterback in Pop Warner at Autzen Stadium.

“I was like super excited and happy and I was proud of myself,” Audrie said.

Audrie’s name will also go down in history as the first female ever to score a touchdown during a game in Autzen, the field she hopes to play on in college one day.

“Herbet was my favorite player. He makes me feel like I can follow up my dreams and one day become a QB for the ducks just like him,” Audrie said.

Audrie is used to making people do double takes. She uses that as motivation to score even more.

“Once they see her go out on that field, you know. I think they get surprised, but I think she’s got quite a few little fans,” Raquel said.

Her skills aren’t limited to the gridiron. When she isn’t throwing spirals on the field, she’s pinning opponents on the mat.

“She’s made a couple boys cry,” Raquel said.

Recently, Audrie won first place at a wrestling tournament, but winning isn’t what motivates her.

“To inspire other girls that they can do sports too,” Audrie said.

Audrie’s already a role model for her younger siblings.

“Her little brother is five years old and he looks up to her so much. He always says he wants to be like Audrie. Addison my other daughter, she sees her sister go out on the mats and stuff and she wants to try wrestling out,” Raquel said.

Audrie was awarded ‘Most Inspirational’ at the end of the football season by her coaches. In addition to wrestling and football, she will be starting baseball in the spring. Audrie is also considering adding yet another sport: basketball.

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Anna Weeks
Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.