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Nine-year-old author changing game she loves with new book

'I wanted them to know that girls can play football as good as boys'
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Posted at 11:08 PM, Nov 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 15:02:35-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One nine-year-old from Kansas City is changing the game of football.

With the help of her family, coaches and players, Burkley Hoover wrote a guide to flag football — "Here Comes Football: A Kids’ Guide to the Game."

The project started as a way for her to express her love for the game while taking on a new challenge.

"I don't want things to be easy to do. You want to have a challenge because when you do easy things, you're not really learning,” Burkley said.

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While researching the game with her dad, the idea to start a document was born. From there, they figured there was nothing in their way from publishing it.

"I wanted them to know that girls can play football as good as the boys,” Burkley said. "I wanted to write it because my dad is a coach, and the game is really fun,”   

Burkley was serious about the project. She got to work writing, researching and interviewing some pros all by herself, which happened to be her favorite part. 

“The chapter that's called 'Tips from the Pros,' I interviewed with players and coaches of three different levels: the NFL, college and high school,” she said. “There's so much research, and then you had to put it all together. Then sometimes you had to just force me to write because it was kind of getting hard.” 

Her father Justin Hoover — who happens to be a football fan, coach and trainer — was on his daughter's team throughout the endeavor.

“We're a football family, and that's kind of where it stemmed from,” Justin Hoover said. “Every opportunity like this lets some other little girls or someone else know that they can do something hard or do something that maybe they're not always supposed to be able to do.” 

It took a year to publish the book. Now able to hold her work in her hands, Burkely says she's happy with the final product.

“It felt like almost I could cry, and it was really exciting because all of my hard work is actually like coming,” she said. “And you can see it's not just a thing you think you did, it's actually physically a thing that you accomplished.”

Burkley plans to continue playing hard and having fun, no matter whether a game ends in defeat or victory.