FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Dejah Rondeau is a quarterback. She wears number 11 because she loves New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. Rondeau is about to realize something all football players dream about.
Rondeau, a seventh-grader from Exeter, New Hampshire, has traveled a tough road playing the game she loves. Exeter Seahawks coach Nick Graham told the SeacoastOnline last November that Rondeau is only one of three girls currently playing football in the seventh and eighth-grade football league.
“Some people don’t want to accept a female quarterback. She’ll have to put in 110 percent when others are putting in 50,” Brock told SeacoastOnline. “But Dejah becoming the quarterback is the best thing that could happen to her. She’s worked really hard at it.”
Rondeau's mom, Nichole Brock, told the site Rondeau faced bullying at school, just because she was a girl playing football.
Enter the New England Patriots.
After hearing Rondeau's story, the Patriots brought Rondeau to Gillette Stadium for a tour of Super Bowl trophy room with owner Robert Kraft and a game of catch with her favorite player, Julian Edelman. Little did she know, she was going to get a bigger surprise.
"Hey, we got a quarterback here. Taking (Tom) Brady's spot," Edelmen said as he greeted Rondeau for the first time.
"I heard about your story, about going out there and having a challenge of dealing with adversity because people not accepting this," Edelmen said, clearly moved by her story. "My respect for you is just through the roof because you ignored the noise and played the game we all love."
The bigger surprise?
"We're going to take you to the Super Bowl, too, if that's cool. You have any plans next Sunday," Edelman said, handing Rondeau an envelope with two Super Bowl tickets inside.
Needless to say, Rondeau was shocked.
"That was crazy. I never knew — I never thought that would ever happen," Rondeau said, grinning from ear to ear.
Guess what kid? You're going to the Super Bowl.