South Jones High School senior Mary Kate Smith is one busy girl. This Fall brings on her Homecoming Dance, where she’s the reigning homecoming queen, dedication to her Mississippi school’s soccer team, oh and one more thing… the new kicker for her school’s varsity football squad!
Already a star on her school’s soccer team, she’s bringing her golden foot to a new team – she’s the first girl to make the school’s varsity football squad. Her response if someone tells her she plays like a girl? Here’s what she told TODAY.com:
“I’m me, and I’m not trying to be anybody else. I’ll take that as a compliment.”
TODAY.com got the whole scoop on this talented girl who proudly wears two things on her head: a homecoming crown, and a football helmet. TODAY.com explained that her football coach, Corey Reynolds, said one of his assistants, Matt Smith, the strength and conditioning coach for Mary Kate’s soccer team, suggested Mary Kate be the kicker that’d sought all summer long. Corey explained, “It just turned out to be a blue-eyed, homecoming-queen soccer player.”
Corey said he was amazed at the way Mary Kate could kick a 40-yard field goal in practice, calling her “one of the most highly competitive athletes – male or female – I’ve ever seen.”
Mary Kate said field-goal kicks are in theory easier than kicking a soccer goal because the ball is stationary in football, but “the pressure is 10 times worse [in football], with big guys running at you who outweigh you by 200 pounds.”
Sounds pretty scary to us, that’s for sure!
Of course, Mary Kate’s parents are so proud of her! Her dad said, “Here, in the South, where traditional values are very traditional, we were a little concerned about how well she’d be accepted. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the support that the community has shown her. We’ve got a renewed faith that things are equalized for her, and for girls like her.” Check out her friends cheering her on, all wearing “We <3 Mary Kate Smith” shirts!
Mary Kate’s got a lot to be looking forward to when she graduates from high school and moves onto college. She’s planning on playing Division-I soccer next fall at the University of Souther Mississippi and considering a career as an orthodontist. Good luck as South Jones High School’s Homecoming Queen Football Kicker!