FORT MILL, S.C. -- Three Tega Cay seventh graders are proving girls can do anything, by playing on the Gold Hill Middle School tackle football team.

Hannah Casey, Lennox London and Emma Marchan are middle school girls. They paint their nails, talk about boys and have sleepovers.

They also play tackle football.

“I just wanted to prove it’s not impossible and girls can actually do that,” said 12-year-old Lennox London. “I was kind of scared but I just decided why not, just do it.”

The girls hardly knew each other until the first day of practice, when they all showed up to play.

“It can be a dangerous sport, you can get hurt, but that’s just the sport, you’ve got to get over it and play the best you can,” said 13-year-old Hannah Casey.

All of Casey’s seven brothers have played football and she wasn’t about to be the odd man out.

“I’ve gotten to see a different part of me, something I didn’t know I could do,” she said. “I didn’t know I could tackle.”

And no one’s going easy on them. The girls take hits just like any other player.

“You just have to put your mind to it and say I may be smaller than this kid but he’s going down when he comes in contact with me,” 12-year-old Emma Marchan laughed. “We just have to show we’re strong enough to do this, we’re not here just to prove a point, we really want to play the game.”

The girls say they have been picked on for joining the team.

“I still get the feeling that some people are talking behind our backs,” Marchan admitted.

But that’s only making them stronger.

“Things have been hard,” Marchan said. “It’s been hard doing conditioning, running, tackling. But I proved to myself that I didn’t give up and that I’m strong enough to do this, that I didn’t quit. And I’m proud of that.”

The girls are allowed to keep playing as long as they make the team, but they say they’re taking it one season at a time for now.