A Texas teen is pulling double duty on the football field, taking down opponents as a defense lineman and then cheering for the team with the rest of the squad under the Friday night lights.
Armand Fernandez-Pierre, 17, is America’s only football player and cheerleader. Packing 335 pounds of brute force, the teen titan had played football until he was in 8th grade, but he stopped after a neck injury and eventually took up cheerleading.
‘[I'd] severed my spinal cord,” Armond told ABC News. “I was paralyzed on the right hand side.”
After he recovered, Armond’s strength proved an asset to the cheerleading squad as he lifted and hurled girls into the air. Episcopal School of Dallas football coach Clayton Sanders soon spotted him on the field and approached him about joining the team. Armond agreed to put the uniform back on, but with one condition – he still gets to join his other team, the cheerleaders, at half time.
“This is a school that’s helped me at the darkest parts, and the deepest parts, of anybody’s life — not just mine,” he said. “And I knew from that moment, that I have to strive to do my best to contribute to my school.”
Armand, now in his senior year, found a perfect compromise when he was allowed to play on the team as a nose tackle for the first two quarters then join the squad to cheer on the team
Now rumors are swirling that Armond is on the recruiting roster for a number of college teams, including UCLA and the University of Miami.
“What a great community my school is, and how hard I work,” he said. Anybody — it doesn’t matter who they are — can strive to do whatever they want. As long as they’re willing to work hard enough for it.”