By: Kaylie Langtry
Agua Fria has had many females join the football team over the years such as Ciera Mueller and D’Randa Hooks. Another one who was willing to take the chance to kick this year was senior, Natalie Steinman.
When Natalie was asked by many of the football players if she was gonna kick for the 2018 football season, she considered it for a while. After talking about it with her parents — and her mom was very hesitant to say the least — her parents said yes. When she asked the coaches, she was nervous, but they gladly let her on the team.
Being the only female on the team can be intimidating, especially if you have never kicked before, so you would think the guys would be hesitant about letting her on the team. However, that is not the case. During school and practices, Natalie said she is “treated like one of the guys.”
Natalie is a soccer player, however, kicking a soccer ball is much different from kicking a football. It took Natalie a bit of practice because you “have to kick straight instead of swing outwards like in soccer, and you have to split the ball into quadrants and hit a specific spot,” Natalie said. Which is much different in soccer when you are taught to over exaggerate your swing and strike the ball in the dead center.
After making 2 PATs in the game against Sierra Linda, Natalie said she “was overwhelmed with joy and excitement, and felt like she was really apart of the team.” The team and the crowd went crazy for her, you could feel it in the air that everyone was proud of her.
Being in the stands as a spectator is much different then being on the field as a player. The game is more intense as it is directly in front of you. “It is a different feeling because you can really feel the heart the players have and how heated everything gets,” Natalie said.
Natalie has some advice for anyone who would become the varsity kicker.
“You cannot be nervous,” Natalie said. “When I went out the first time I was nervous and my mouthguard broke, and then I missed the kick.”
If you want to join, not even just football but sports in general, do not be nervous, just go out there and get everything done. Most importantly “Go Owls!” Natalie said.
You can catch Natalie kicking for varsity on Friday nights at 7pm.