Family says 7th-grade Winston-Salem female football kicker sidelined because she is a girl

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Seventh-grader Charlotte Albright is the starting kicker for the football team at the Summit School in Winston-Salem. But last Thursday, Albright was not allowed on the field for the Eagles' game against North Raleigh Christian Academy because she is a girl, according to her family

"Our coaches were informed when we got off the bus that one of our players would not be able to play," said Ken Shaw, director of athletics for Summit School.

Charlotte's mom, Carolyn Albright, told FOX8 about it over the phone.

"What I did hear, I was very disappointed in because I know that Charlotte has worked very hard to get where she is," Albright said.

A statement from Summit School says that North Raleigh Christian Academy's athletic director told their Head Coach Ryan Mihalko, "If the girl takes the field, it will be a forfeit."

Steve Lykins, athletic director at North Raleigh Christian Academy, said in an email to FOX8, "At no time in any of my conversation with their coach did we say that she could not play or say that we would forfeit the game if she played."

North Raleigh Christian Academy is a member of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association, which does not allow girls to play varsity football. When it comes to girls playing on middle school teams, the decision is up to each individual school.

On Thursday, Albright was left to sit in the sidelines instead of her team going home without playing.

"She was glad that the coaches, that Coach Mihalko, made the decision to stay and play the game. She was very glad of that, she wanted her team to be there, she didn't want them to have to walk away," Albright's mom said.

Albright says she has had to prepare her daughter for some resistance as a female football player.

"She's certainly not the first girl to play football, but I hope that everybody sees that it is something that is more common and girls can have talents in the game," Albright said.

Shaw says he has already contacted the school's future opponents to make sure Albright is allowed to play in future games.