‘All hail Abigail’: How Big Spring’s Abi Sweger went from horses and soccer, to wrestling, to football and the impact that’s had on her and others

26 October 2018


Abi Sweger

Abi Sweger (Jason Malmont/The Sentinel)

By Jake Adams:

Abi Sweger stood by herself in the girls locker room at Biglerville High School on a Friday night in late August facing a wardrobe problem — how does one put on football pads, jersey and pants?


This was a whole new world for the Big Spring senior athlete, one she threw herself into just days before. Classmate Braden Petty, a football player for the Bulldogs, approached Sweger to see if one of her male soccer friends could kick for the football team when the season opened in a week.

Instead, Sweger volunteered her own right leg.

So after a quick trip to the store that day, some ensuing practice with her dad, a tryout for football coach Cory Hoffman and a bus ride for the season opener against the Canners, there Sweger stood.

She was alone — the rest of the team dressed in the boys locker room — and trying to figure out the puzzle that was her new uniform.

For the headstrong 18-year-old who doesn’t want to hear she can’t do something because of her chromosomes or because she’s too small, this was just another challenge to overcome. After all, she had trained horses many times her size. And she had broken into male sports nearly a year earlier when she joined the Big Spring wrestling team for head coach Nate Gutshall.

“I don’t think I’d want to be treated any differently,” Sweger said. “I think everyone should have a fair shot no matter what gender.”

And she was ready for this challenge … with a little help, it turned out.

To read the full story, visit The Sentinel at: https://cumberlink.com/sports/high-school/football/all-hail-abigail-how-big-spring-s-abi-sweger-went/article_f14992d5-4e42-545a-b581-24be82d6d428.html#tracking-source=home-top-story