Rising sophomore excels in football and on the mat

On the Keller Timber Creek High School freshman football team’s offensive line, each player has a job to do. Each player is expected to do that job.

Rachel Bridges, now a rising sophomore, isn’t afraid to do her job. A guard on the Freshman A team last year, she played at a high level, Timber Creek head coach Kevin Golden said.

“She’s rough, and we want the offensive linemen to be rough, and she is,” Golden said.

Bridges has succeeded not just because she plays at a high level but because of her work ethic. She is embraced on the team because of her work ethic, Bridges’ mother Pamela Bridges said.

“She just goes and does the work,” Pamela said. “She doesn’t expect special treatment. She’s going to give 110 percent every time, and they respect that in her.”

Her coaches see her as a leader and a motivator with no fear of failure. The other athletes feed off her drive and work ethic, offensive line coach Jake Miller said.

“She gets the team behind her when they see her go out and do some of the things that she’s not too sure she’s capable of doing, but she’s going to give it her all,” Miller said.

Pamela said she worried when Rachel first began playing football, but after having an overall positive experience, she is comfortable with her daughter playing as long as Rachel is comfortable.

“She just goes in, does the work, and gets in there with the guys, and she’s able to hold her own,” Pamela said.

But football isn’t Rachel’s only sport.

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In November, she started wrestling at Timber Creek. She was the regional 215-pound girls champion and was one of three wrestlers the Falcons sent to state. The other two were alternates.

“I think it was just the confidence from playing football and having the contact and loving that, that kind of carried on over the wrestling so that has been a wonderful experience for her,” Pamela said.

She doesn’t like downtime. This summer, between strength and conditioning for football at Timber Creek and wrestling for the 2014 Team Texas National Women’s Wrestling Team, she will be kept busy. The team will travel to Fargo, N.D., for the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships in July.

“I love it so much,” Rachel said. “I didn’t know really like what wrestling was, and it’s just been one of the best high school experiences ever, and there’s so many more years to come since I’m just a freshman.”

She isn’t done playing football. She said will take it year-by-year while she can still compete with the boys. Wrestling, however, is something she would like to take to a collegiate level.

“She broke through that one barrier, and now I think for her, she’s thinking the sky’s the limit,” Miller said. “She can do anything if she really wants to, and if anybody’s got desire and a fight to do something and to get better at something, it’s her, and I think she realizes that now, and she has a better understanding of it.”

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