As the lights go down and the crowd gets louder, the kicker soaks it all in and starts running, sending the ball through the air. The kicker exits the field and takes off… her helmet.
“It was fun being a cheerleader, but I enjoy football a lot better do to the fact that it’s a contact sport,” Merrit said.
Being the only female to play on the team in years, Merrit is well known in the community. Many people have said they are excited to see what she can do and cant wait to see her in action on the field.
“I think it’s exciting that we have a female on the football team. Not only does it show girls are just as capable of doing what boys do, but it shows she’s not afraid to be herself,“ Mrs. Shawn Baur, office secretary said.
Since Merrit is a transfer student, she cant be the leading kicker on varsity due to sports regulations of having to be at a school for minimum of a year.
“Even though I won’t be playing varsity this year, I am still excited to be a part of the team. It seems like a great program, and everyone was very welcoming,” Merrit said.
Due to limited space to get dressed in Merrit’s football padding, she gets dressed in the football cage where all the equipment is and where the mangers hang out.
“It doesn’t bother me to get dressed in the cage because all of the managers are friendly and it helps that I am not the only girl on the team. Even though the managers don’t play, they are still a big part of the program,” Merrit said.
Not only was it an adjustment for the community to accept having a female on the team, it was also an adjustment for the football players.
“I think having a girl on the team brings diversity. Not only is it a good way to get Greenwood on the map and not just for football purposes, but as our school as a whole,” junior Isaiah Drew said.
This is Merrit’s first year playing football, and people can tell she already has potential. junior Lex Logan has been helping Merrit on her footwork to prepare for her for JV. When Merrit does not have practice with the team, she practices on the weekends by herself for hours at a time.
“I think it’s cool that she wanted to come out here and play with the guys and that it will be a good experience for her. Most girls I know would never have the courage to play such a physical sport,” sophomore Gavin Dowling said.