The Urban Legend

The School Newspaper of Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

The School Newspaper of Urban School of San Francisco

The Urban Legend

Play like a girl

Maurillo and Martinez on coed sports teams
Photo credit: Rizal Adanza.

There is a noticeable lack of female-identifying students on the Urban co-ed baseball and flag football teams. However, Simone Maurillo ‘25 and Julia Martinez ‘24 break barriers as the only female athletes on the teams. What is their experience actually like? 

When asked about their teammates, Maurillo, an outfielder on the Varsity Baseball team, said, “My experience has been great. I think I got lucky in terms of the people on the team. They are all very respectful and amazing people to work with.” 

Zach Gordon ‘24, first baseman on the Varsity Baseball team said, “Simone is a great teammate and baseball player, and she works super hard to get better outside of practice. She’s fully part of the team just like anyone else.”

Martinez, a wide receiver on the Varsity Flag Football team said, “Everyone on the team is super supportive and extra excited for me.” 

“[Julia] brings really fun energy to every practice. The guys and I don’t treat her any differently just because she is a girl, because why should we?” Said Gabriel France ‘24, one of Martinez’s teammates and wide receiver on the Varsity Flag Football team.  

While the Urban teams welcome Martinez and Maurillo, being the only female-identifying people on the field can elicit responses from their opponents. “There are a lot of teams that just don’t guard me,” said Martinez. “It’s fun because I’ll be wide open, but it’s also embarrassing because I’m all alone on the field while all the other guys are being aggressively guarded.” 

“People don’t even pay attention to me when I’m on the bases,” said Maurillo. “Normally the pitcher looks back to see if the runner is gonna steal the base,” she said. “One time I was on a base and the pitcher and his teammates didn’t bother to look back at me, so I basically walked to steal a base. It’s like no one expects anything from me.”

Martinez also added that some teams are surprised to see her on the flag football team. “We were playing University High School and at the end of the game, we were high-fiving in a line saying good job to each other,” she said. “This one guy just said, ‘What the f*ck?’ to my face, like he was so confused to see me, a girl, on the team.”

 In addition to the external responses, Maurillo has felt pressure to perform well within the team. “I feel this need to prove myself to the guys [on my team],” said Maurillo. “My teammates and I have also noticed that when I make a mistake, the punishment that I get [from the coaches] is way harsher and a different response than my teammates would receive.”

Nonetheless, this does not stop Martinez. “The Bay High School Flag Football team guards me now because I scored on them.” 

Despite their difficulties, Martinez and Maurillo encourage other girls to join the teams. “I would love to have more girls join,” said Maurillo. “Being a girl shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to.”

“Don’t feel embarrassed because you are the only girl; you deserve an equal shot like the guys get,” said Martinez. “Don’t listen to others and what they think of you. Do what you got to do to get to that touchdown.”

About the Contributor
Reese Bassuk
Reese Bassuk, Managing Editor, Creative and Sports Editor