SWANTON — MVU freshman Hannah Johnson had dreamed of being a football player since she was 10. Five years later, that dream became reality. Johnson is now a cornerback and special-teams player for the Thunderbirds who just secured their inaugural win, over the BFA-Fairfax Bullets on Saturday.

Johnson found her love for the game at home.

“My cousin and I played backyard football forever and one day he told me he was on a football team. And that’s when he got me into it,” Johnson said.

For the Thunderbirds, coach Eric Bushey said having Johnson on the team didn’t take much getting used to, thanks in part to assistant coach Jim Bougor’s experiences.

“At first it was different because we had to get used to the dynamic of having a female on the team, but Jim at Winooski had a female on his team so he has been there and dealt with it, which is nice to have,” Bushey said.

Johnson’s teammates didn’t appear to have any issues with her presence either as they bounced back and forth, anxiously waiting to socialize with each other before the cold, rainy practice began. The T-Birds’ environment was visibly positive.

Playing with all boys has been different, Johnson said. “But I am definitely fine with it. My teammates are great. I love them all.”

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