POULSBO — Football is usually a male-dominated sport, but a pair of North Kitsap girls, Indika Bray and Sarah McMullen, are breaking the glass end zone.
True, the girls have spent this season playing Pee Wee flag football. It’s not always the most intense brand of football — players inquire about postgame snacks as much as defensive assignments, and one huddle spontaneously broke out into a game of duck-duck-goose.
But you wouldn’t have noticed that had you watched the 7-year-olds, Bray and McMullen, play against East Bremerton last Saturday.
First McMullen got the ball, barrelled around the right end, and streaked down the field, leaving defensive backs flailing and falling. Her flags fluttered as she sprinted into the end zone for an 80-yard score.
One East Bremerton parent eyed a defensive back as he walked off the field.
“You let a girl beat you!” The parent said.
Bray, who plays wide receiver but is more of a defensive dynamo, helped the team by always breaking towards the ball and making several “tackles.”
There aren’t any wins or losses in flag football; no score is kept, so kids can learn the game and just have fun.
Still, with McMullen’s sprint into the end zone, Bray’s defensive pressure, and further touchdowns by Jacob Velarde, Kodye Jamrock, and Brandon Larson, the Pee Wee flag team proved themselves a solid team — and McMullen and Bray are a big part of that, coaches say.
“The girls are more focused than anyone,” admits assistant Blake Buel, who spends part of his weekdays playing for Kingston Junior High and another part coaching the Pee Wees.
Head coach Joe McMullen admits he is a bit biased (Sarah is his daughter), but is surprised and pleased by how well McMullen has done.
“She’s really a strong-willed girl,” he said. “She’s the first running back I got who would run right up the line. She just bowls into them.”
Defensive coach Glenn Samples said Bray is also a big piece of the Pee Wee puzzle.
“She’s my anchor on the defensive line,” he said. He will move Bray from position to position, wherever she is needed most.
“She’s unselfish,” Samples said.
Bray was the first to turn out for the sport.
At first McMullen was unsure, said her coach and father.
“She was apprehensive,” he said, “because it was a boys’ sport. She wanted to be a cheerleader.”
But when Bray tried out the first day, McMullen was in, too.
“She said, ‘Hey, I can do this,’” coach McMullen said.
“And they both turned out to be great players for us,” said Samples.
And what finally prompted the girls to turn out?
“We saw it on TV and it looked really fun,” Bray said.
“It’s really fun,” McMullen said after the East Bremerton game.
And boys in North Kitsap better watch out. McMullen may be more of a terror on the wrestling mat than she is on the gridiron.
“Sarah’s going to go out for wrestling this year,” said her proud mother, Krista McMullen. “And she’s going to make some boys cry.”