With two older brothers, a longtime love of ice hockey, and a competitive streak that enables her to brush off low-key trash-talking during games, Pennsylvania teen Alyssa Wruble knows what it is to be tough. As the only girl on Northampton Area High School's varsity team, the 17-year-old tells Lehigh Valley Live that crowds usually cheer louder when she gets hit than when her male counterparts do—and that she just laughs it off. "I take the hit," she says. "I know ... what I signed up for." What she didn't sign up for: the taunting she endured by an opposing team's fans at a recent championship game, including chants of "dude!," a remark that she has "a penis," and a sign reading "Alyssa gender reveal?" next to the symbols for male and female. Alyssa's aunt posted a pic of that sign on Facebook and slammed the fans of Allentown's Parkland High School, as well the coach and the team itself.
"Competitive banter and egging each other on is all in the spirit of game," Donna Bloss wrote. "But ??personal attacks, bullying, and borderline sexual harassment has no place in high school sports or anywhere for that matter." While all this was happening, Alyssa tried to keep scoring. "I just kept my head down ... [and] kept focused on the game," she tells Fox 29. "I wasn't going to let them get into my head and ruin the game for me." Alyssa, who scored two goals, tells Lehigh Valley Live the sign was a jab at any LGBT or female player trying to play an alpha-male dominated sport, and that she wants those who made the sign to claim responsibility. "I just want an apology out of the whole thing," she tells Fox 29. Meanwhile, Parkland High School and the Parkland School District have apologized, and Parkland Ice Hockey President Mike Byelick has resigned. (Read more bullying stories.)