CHEERS to the Beekmantown Central School Athletic Department for the steps it took to ensure that a female student could play football for the school. Desire Sydnor played football at Beekmantown for six years, having just finished her senior year on varsity. Legally, it would have been difficult to deny her the chance, but, let’s face it, school officials, coaches and teammates could have made it a rough sports career. Instead, they did what they could to help make Sydnor’s years in uniform safe and successful. She participated in 125 varsity football practices — never missing one — and varsity coach Jamie Lozier credits her conditioning and their efforts, such as careful pairings during drills, with the fact that she made it through without serious injury. The school made sure she had a separate place to change for games and practices. And while Sydnor was not used in every game, she actually played more than 12 other players and was considered by the Athletic Department to be a “great team player.” Lozier told her a number of times that she wasn’t a girl during football; she was a player. “She earned every bit of playing time with her dedication and hard work,” Lozier said. “She also earned the respect of her coaches and teammates via her constant hard work and great attitude. She never complained and was a great role model for our team. .. In my opinion, she was one of the toughest players on our team. Day in and day out, she took our physical practices with a smile. She is fine young lady with football in her heart. She has earned my respect. And respect lasts forever.” The Press-Republican salutes Desire Sydnor for her grit, dedication and determination. We think that she and Beekmantown have been a winning combination.
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