SkillsUSA Champions Spring Magazine : Page 8

Photo: Lloyd Wolf osie Monarch had two requirements for the college she would eventually attend. One of them was that she had to be part of its football program. The Hardinsburg, Ky., native had already volunteered nearly 3,000 hours for the small community’s youth football league, actually playing on the team for a year. At the same time, she was a cheer-leader for her school’s football team. “I remember standing there on the sidelines, basically shucking the football jersey off her and handing her her cheer-leader uniform so she could go cheer,” her mother, Julie, says. “There’s been many a year when we just followed Josie with whatever gear or equipment she needed, and we just got her dressed on the way.” The only girl on the team, “I was a fullback and MVP for our champion-ship game,” Monarch adds. For the youth league, she also helped coach, haul water, set up and tear down the field, run conces-sions and even referee a couple of games. After passing the cutoff age of 12, she begged to play for her public school. “We told her there was no way,” her mother says. “With her long, blonde ponytail sticking out, that would be the worst target ever, so we refused.” “[The other players] would grab me by the ponytail and whip me around,” Monarch replies matter-of-factly. “I was kind of used to it by that point.” Monarch threw her love of the game into managing her high school team, where she was in charge of footballs and kicking equipment. When the boys went into the locker room, she waited in the gym, ensuring everything was in place. By that time, Monarch was accus-tomed to being the only girl around, so being outnumbered in computer assisted drafting (CAD) and machine tool technol-ogy classes didn’t bother her, either. J

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