LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A Laguna Beach high school student has become a star in a sport most girls don't play.
Bella Rasmussen of Laguna Beach High School made sports history recently, becoming the first girl in California to score two touchdowns in a game for high-school varsity football, according to CalHighSports.com.
"I'm incredibly grateful and blessed to have the people that I do around me to support me and see me succeed," the running back and defensive end said.
Her mom Annette says she knew Bella was special from the beginning.
"She was always pushing the envelope," Annette Rasmussen said. "She was always super-ambitious, she was super-physical, always wanted to be rough and tough. People told me all the time there's something special about her, she's gonna do big things in life and I absolutely agreed."
The senior's journey in the sport began when she was seven.
After watching big brother play year after year, Bella wanted in.
But her teammates in the early days weren't always as welcoming as those on her current team.
"Some of them were pretty mean," she recalled. "But I think that came with a lot of age. I think that as maturity grew they were more and more accepting and ever since we started playing in high school there's never been a football player that I've been on a team with that has told me they didn't want me there."
On the contrary, here she's just another player.
"I like to surround myself with people who are strong and hard-working and definitely tough and I'd say she checks all those boxes," said teammate James Golden.
But she doesn't get any breaks either - even when some of the other players have 70 pounds or more on her.
"We coach her hard," said head coach John Shanahan. "We have the same expectations for her and she's met all those expectations."
And Bella knows it's a game that could lead to injuries.
"If I don't do my job if I don't protect myself and do what I'm taught to do then yeah I absolutely could get hurt," she said. "But i think at the end it comes down to you gotta be the hammer not the nail."