Boy seeks OK to play for girls' volleyball team - New York News

Boy seeks OK to play for girls' volleyball team

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Inside the gym at Yonkers High School, senior Jenson Daniel doesn't immediately pop out among a group of girls, some of whom stand 6 feet tall.

But, if you look closer, you can see his strength. That is why he is allowed to practice volleyball, but not play on the team. Last year, Jensen did play. He was the only boy on the school's all-girl volleyball squad. 

"Being the only boy on an all-girl's team puts a lot of pressure on you.  People say 'you have a boy on your team, you should be winning every game.'  It doesn't work like that," Daniel says.

At the beginning of the season, the state high school league said he needed to take a test including long jump, an arm hang, a 1.5-mile run. He gave it his all. Then word came back, he couldn't be on the girls team because he far exceeded the averages.

"I feel like I just can't give up," Daniel says.

The high school athletic league said it is actually following a state regulation regarding boys and girls playing on the same team. The league says in this case, it determined Henson playing on the girls team would have "an adverse effect on the competition."

The school is appealing.

"He's actually part of the team.  Not only physically and skill but emotionally as a team member," James Rose from Yonkers Public Schools says.  "So I think it is very important for the team to play."

His teammates, including captain Tara Herrera, call Jenson one of the girls.

"He brings a different energy to the team because he's a boy.  He motivates the girls to play that much harder," Herrera says.

Jenson said he doesn't play to his full potential out there and that he would love to play for a boys team if one were available. But, he said that playing with girls helps him hone his skills in a sport he loves.

The family hopes to find out if No. 20 will be allowed to play in Friday night's game.

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