Bullitt East High School’s football team is going an unconventional route to replace its starting kicker for Friday’s game vs. Shelby County.
With starting kicker Jarrett O’Neill away with the Chargers boys soccer team at a tournament in Barren County, Bullitt East football coach Mark Sander has found another soccer player in Chargers star forward Christian Foster to serve as cover along with freshman backup kicker Cameron Waddell. Sander believes that Foster, who has scored 30 goals this season in just 12 games, will become the first female athlete to suit up for the Chargers football team in its history.
“She’s dressing and she will probably kick for us,” Sander confirmed in a phone interview. “We just needed reinforcements. Everyone was 100 percent behind that. Some people could have been questioning it because she’s a female but there’s no doubts about her joining us. Even with no wins now, something like that is very refreshing and something we need over here. This is a first, and as I mentioned to the boys, it’s happened around the country.”
It remains unclear how much, if at all, Foster will play, but she’s expected to play a role on some kickoffs, extra points, and field goals. If Foster plays, she will become the second female to play for a local football team. Collins’ starting kicker this season is junior Lindsey Creque.
According to Sander, Bullitt East High School’s college and career ready coach Wendy McCutcheon raised the idea of Foster deputizing for the football team a week and a half ago. Following a discussion between Foster and Sander, as well as the approval of Bullitt East’s girls soccer coach Steven Gentry, Foster took part in some of Bullitt East’s football practice on Thursday ahead of possibly seeing game action tonight.
“She’s got a nice (left) leg,” Sander said. “I haven’t really talked to her much about (her) kicking a football in previous years, I just know that she’s played soccer a lot. I think that’s where more football teams grab their kickers. She’s got a strong leg and we’ll see how we use her this evening.”
Bullitt East is looking for its first win of the season, after starting the season 0-4 for the second consecutive season.
Update: After kicking the opening kickoff, Foster was called in to kick the extra point following Bullitt East’s first touchdown, and she converted the extra point.
Update No. 2: Foster converted eight extra points in Bullitt East’s wild 56-31 victory over Shelby Co. She also reportedly recovered a fumble on a kickoff attempt.