GLADSTONE, Mich. (WJMN) – From a young age, Cydnie Carignan has had a passion for the sport of football.
“When growing up, my cousins played and I liked playing with them,” said Cydnie. “So, in 6th grade, I decided to join the Gladstone League Youth Football Program and I really liked it. Then, I continued on with Junior High and that’s when I decided I wanted to play high school football.”
Cydnie has proved she belongs.
“Being out on the field gives me kind of a rush,” said Cydnie. “It’s fun to pretty much take out some anger on some people.”
She’s following in some familiar footsteps.
“She [Cyndie’s mom] used to tell me about this one kid that would always pick on her and he was rude and one day she just totally blindsided him and pancaked him right to the ground,” said Carignan.
Cydnie’s mom, Aimee Carignan, suited up for the Rapid River Rockets in the mid to late ’90s.
“It is nice because I can give her some pointers and I was a female that played and I was short just like her,” said Aimee. “So, I’m able to show her a few tricks of the trade that I was taught when I was younger by our defensive line coach when I was a freshman on how to man-handle some of the boys.”
A lot of players have those they look up to. For Cydnie, this one happens to be a little closer to home.
“I was excited,” said Aimee. “My husband was really excited. Our whole family was. We love football in our house. So, it was fun. You know, we don’t have any boys. So, it was just great to have someone that wanted to play.”
Carrying on the family tradition of football, Cydnie knew she wanted to be just like her mom.
“I liked the idea that she played football,” said Cydnie. “She was the first girl to play football for Rapid River. That influenced me a lot and she’s definitely helped me with all of the struggles of being a girl on the football team.”
“It is her first year on varsity, so when she does get out to play it does, it just makes me so happy and proud of her,” said Aimee.
That same toughness is something that Aimee has passed on to her daughter.
“There’s been times that I’ve come home from practice and complained that the boys are being rough or playing too hard for me, but she’s always told me to stick with it,” said Cydnie.
Cydnie hopes she can pass that toughness on to the next generation.
“I love the idea,” said Cydnie. “I would like to, when I get older, to look back and see there are more girls getting interested in it and having fun and being tough.”
“She’s a tough kid,” said Aimee. “She’s always been a tough kid. So, I always knew she could do it. There was never a doubt.”
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