Student Spotlight: Maylene Caceres



Sophomore Maylene Caceres watches as some of the team moms take their turn at punting at s special football event last month.

Nicollette Arabie, Editorial Team

In the 1970s, Title IX was passed to make all sports accessible to all children, regardless of their gender. And this year, a BHS student put that ruling to use. Maylene Caceres is a sophomore at Buffalo High School and is the first girl to play on the Bison football team. She is a lineman on the JV team, wearing number 64 on Thursday nights. She said she has always wanted to play football.

“After watching my brother play it became a dream of mine to play football,” Caceres said. “I just never really thought it would be possible because of judgment and any rules that might be against it. I asked Coach Savell, and I didn’t really expect him to say alright with no problem, so when he did, I was really excited.”

Caceres’s journey to playing football began last year when she was a freshman in girls’ athletics, maxing more than 300 pounds in squats in the weightroom. She joined the powerlifting team and advanced all the way to regionals in her weight class. She said that training got her ready for what she faced in football.

“I had to get up at 6:00 am so I could be at school for weightroom,” Caceres. “Practices ended at 7:25. I was lifting 10 times a week, two times a day every weekday.”

After regionals, Caceres got up the courage to ask Athletic Director Jamin Savell if she could join the football program her sophomore year.

“I was the strongest girl in athletics, squatting more than 300 pounds and being on the same plane as the boys,” Caceres said. “It just gave me a little bit of hope that Coach Savell would say yes to me playing football.”

And say yes he did. Caceres attended summer workouts so that she could get up to speed with the boys who had been working at football since seventh grade.

“I would always be a little bit late to workouts, but that didn’t stop me from trying to outwork the boys,” Caceres said. “I still primarily worked out with the girls because I didn’t really know the boys that well, but weightlifting was a breeze.”

As required, Maylene attended two-a-days. The August heat meant this was not an easy undertaking.

“It was hot and really difficult because I didn’t have the same endurance that the boys did,” Caceres said. “Honestly though, as the days went by practice got easier and easier.”

And as practice got easier for Maylene, her endurance and strength grew. At the end of two-a-days, she has earned the position of lineman on the JV team. She continued to work and is still working to accomplish her goal of making varsity. She hopes to meet this goal next year, but for now, she’s playing football with her brother and having fun.

“I feel awesome being able to accomplish my dream of playing with my older brother, Joe,” Caceres said proudly.

Maylene may be the first girl in Buffalo’s football program, but she’s encouraging girls across the school from many different grades and is making an impact.

“I think it’s really cool, and it’s bringing more feminism to our school,” junior Alyncia Jackson said. “A lot of people don’t think girls should do things like football, but Maylene is proving them wrong and giving all of us a huge confidence boost.”