JV Football Welcomes Two Female Athletes


Photo Courtesy of Hana Žitňanská

JV football players Rebecca Mintz (left) and Hana Hana Žitňanská were welcomed by the rest of team at the beginning of this year.

The beginning of the 2021 school year marked the return of fall sports. This season, the Rockville JV football team welcomed two junior, female players– Rebecca Mintz, and Hana Žitňanská. This is the first season both girls are playing a male-dominated sport. Mintz plays as a linebacker and Žitňanská as a receiver and defensive back. 

It is Žitňanská’s first year at RHS. She is an exchange student from the Czech Republic. Žitňanská hasn’t had previous experience with American football, but joined the team to fulfill the “American experience” while she is here and try unfamiliar activities. Upon her arrival, Žitňanská read the list of fall sports offered at RHS. She saw football as the top choice, because there are no opportunities in the Czech Republic to play or watch the sport.

Žitňanská said she still feels as if her new school life is unreal, comparing how different the U.S. is to life back in the Czech Republic. “The first week was really hard, because I did not understand what was happening around me while the teachers wanted me to do stuff, I didn’t know how it would work here. But it is getting better, definitely,” Žitňanská said. 

Unlike Žitňanská, Mintz has been interested in football since elementary school, and the sport is a big part of her life. 

Mintz grew up surrounded by football. Her older brothers played for the RHS football team and encouraged Mintz to play as well. Mintz participated in football camps during the summer. 

Following in her brother’s footsteps, she is a part of the team and finds football a rewarding experience.“It’s better to regret doing something than regret not doing something. You can always drop out if you don’t like it,” Mintz said. 

  In coach Andrew Kenton’s 22 years of coaching, 12 coaching at Rockville, Mintz and Žitňanská are his first female players.

“There honestly isn’t much of a difference between male and female players, it is still football. It is still the same sport with all the same treatment as it would be with any other team,” Kenton said.  

Both girls were welcomed like any other player. There were no bad experiences and the two have been treated the same as any other player.

“Everybody was welcomed with open arms, and everyone was welcome to play” Kenton said.