The Madison High Trojans are a small, Class 1-A school in Illinois who just finished their first football season in 29 years. How’d they do? 6-3. Their first playoffs in thirty years. While the playoff birth was a team effort, there's no question a portion of the team's win came from an unlikely source.
“I think she’s tougher than some of the guys we have right now on the line, she been holding on though," said Mike Hill, Madison head football coach.
Hill, of course speaking of Tiana Robinson. Or as her teammates call her, "Big T."
“First day of school they said, ‘Tiana you wanna play football?’ She was like ‘yeah!’” said Latisha Brownlee, Tiana’s mother.
Tiana was always denied youth football. So as soon as she got into high school, she signed up.
“Her brother and cousins played little league. And they never would let her play because she was a girl. She said when she got to high school she said she was gonna play," said Brownlee.
The 16-year-old sophomore plays guard and tackle on the offensive and defensive lines -- pretty much wherever the team needs her most at any given time.
“Some of them are surprised that I play. They tell me I’m good for a girl," said Tiana referring to her opponents.
“She might be a girl but she ain’t no normal girl. She out there with the boys… “she tough, she tough," said Thad Robinson, Tiana's father.
Her secret to staying tough in the trenches with the big boys?
“The one who stay low and keep their feet moving is the one who’s always gonna win. So I just stay low and try to keep my feet moving as I’m blocking for the quarterback," she said.
And as for injuries? Mom and dad aren’t worried one bit.
“She always hold her ground out there. She don’t let them push her around. They treat her like one of the guys," said Latisha.
“I’m a supporter one hundred percent ... I want her to go as far as she can go, get a scholarship, go to college.”
"Sky's the limit," added Thad Robinson.