Two weeks ago, McKinley’s Alexandria Buchanan shocked the prep football world when she became the first female quarterback to start a varsity football game and throw a touchdown pass in the 50th state.
It was a game-changer in every sense for the Tigers.
“I’ve had a couple people tell me, ‘No, you can’t do it. There were some people that were just like, ‘I don’t think you can do this because you’re a girl’ or ‘because you’re not good enough,’ but I just took that and I wanted to get better so I could show that I can,” Buchanan said.
Not only did Buchanan become the only sophomore called up to varsity for the Tigers, she was tapped to start at quarterback in the team’s third game of the season against Kalaheo.
“I was really nervous, especially when I first started, I wasn’t sure how my team would take me,” she said. “But once they finally took me, I wasn’t as scared. I was kind of worried when I first joined varsity how other people in the stands would feel about it, but I’ve gotten a lot of just positive support and encouragement this whole time.”
Other teams have been supportive as well.
On Aug. 19, Buchanan made a history-making first touchdown pass, prompting a national landslide of recognition, which included ESPN’s SportsCenter and USA Today.
“It’s been crazy. I’ve been getting so much attention and just support from friends and family, but also from complete strangers. It’s amazing,” she said. “Getting all of these random people that don’t even know me to say ‘Congratulations’ or ‘I’m so proud of you,’ that means so much to me.”
Buchanan isn’t one to bask in the attention, but she hopes to inspire other girls with the knowledge that playing catch with dad or flag football as a kid isn’t the end of the road for them.
“I went from just playing a sport I liked, just a regular high school student, and all of a sudden I’m getting all this attention for playing a sport that I love,” she said. “I think it’s amazing to be able to be a role model for kids just like me, but I hope they look at me and see that they can do it too.
“I’d like to see more girls out here, because I know they can do it, and I think it’d be really cool,” she continued.
Off the field, Buchanan is sophomore class president, assistant editor for the school newspaper, and a member of the Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders.
With a 24-game losing skid dating back to 2013, Buchanan thinks she has the canon to lead McKinley back to the win column.
“That would mean everything to me. I want to win too, especially since it’s my team. Winning is great,” Buchanan said. “We’ve been putting in a lot of hard work. I think we have a chance this year. We’re going to win a game.”