There has always been a debate if girls should play high school football or not. People on one side say it’s too dangerous; they’ll get hurt. On the other hand, the flip side argues that girls should have equal rights and a fair shot to make the team just like the guys. Madison La Follette gave senior Jenna Smith a shot and now she is the team’s place kicker and the first girl to play varsity football at that school.
I think it’s great that Smith was given the opportunity to try out at La Follette. Most coaches and fans would think it’s just for show or to get attention, but Smith is a legitimate kicker. At last Friday’s game against Madison East, she nailed five extra points. In practice, she has been spot on according to coaches.
Smith is a standout soccer player for La Follette in the spring and has been playing the sport since she was little. She was able to win over her fellow teammates when practices first began in early August by showing them just how accurate she was kicking. Since then, they have accepted Smith and know that their main focus when she is on the field kicking is to protect her.
Donna Wilborn was the first female to play on a high school football team in Wisconsin back in 1978. She opened the door for not only Smith but all females in the state to play football. It’s great seeing Jenna succeed like she is and being treated with the respect that she deserves. Most schools in the state do not have a sound kicking game, just like La Follette didn’t before Smith came around. I hope girls who think they are too small or won’t fit in on the team see this and realize that they too could have an opportunity to play high school football.