"We didn't make a big deal about it," said Reichwein. "Anyone who went head-to-head with her ended up on the ground. After a week, (her gender) was laid to lest."
Reichwein, who is also Caroline's basketball coach and her best friend's father, said she embodies the character and sportsmanship that football coaches so often strive to instill in their players.
"This whole fight is for other people more than it is for her," he said. "She's such a caring, kind, well-rounded young lady who's able to put a helmet on, throw a switch and knock you on your butt."
Caroline's father proudly stands with his daughter. He said the ruling is outdated.
"Girls playing football is not something new. They're not going through uncharted water or pioneering something that hasn't been addressed before," George Pla said. "The sport will determine where's she's best able to play, if she is at all."
All four Pla children are encouraged to pursue their passions, whether it's theater or football, George Pla said. Caroline's twin sister, Alexandra, uninterested in playing football, would prefer to remain on the sidelines as a cheerleader.
Tackling the boys-only rule is bigger than just letting her twin back on the gridiron, Alexandra said.
"She's trying really hard to let girls play football," she said. "I really like to watch her play, and the rule should be changed so anyone can play."
Rally 'round the girl
After calls and emails to the archdiocese were unsuccessful, Caroline, no longer welcome to play football for the CYO, decided to call an audible.
With the full support of her team, Caroline's mom, Seal Pla, started an online petition at change.org to encourage the archdiocese to allow girls to play football.
Her original goal was to get 100 signatures. There are now more than 100,000.
One signer is 9-year-old peewee football sensation Samantha "Sweet Feet" Gordon from Utah. She was recently featured on a Wheaties box and made a November appearance on "NFL Gameday Morning," where she showed off her moves to Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk and Warren Sapp. She also was invited to this year's Super Bowl in New Orleans, where she blogged for four days for espnW.com, which focuses on female athletes.
Even Philadelphia Councilman and devout Catholic Jim Kenney fired off an official letter to the archdiocese, saying the issue "hits close to home."
"The archdiocese is one of the last remaining defenders of gender discriminating in sports, so let us proudly take a giant leap forward in Catholic education today by purging this archaic rule from the CYO handbook," he wrote.
Caroline also caught the attention of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Sporting her navy and gold football jersey on set, Caroline won over the crowd during her appearance last month.
When asked whether she's gotten hurt, the crowd erupted when she quipped with a made-for-TV smile, "I've never really gotten hurt, but I have hurt people."
Could archdiocese cut back?
Caroline's fight to get back on the field hasn't swayed the archdiocese yet, but the panel selected by the archdiocese is expected to issue a decision on the boys-only rule by mid-March.