After finishing the season at 1-9 last year, Holly Pond knew it had a lot of problems to fix this year, including its kicking game. So, the Broncos went out and found a kicker who quickly became just one of the boys, but it turns out, she’s not a boy at all.
“Before I was on the team, I didn’t go to many games because I worked, so I didn’t realize how much they struggled,” Savanah Fortner said.
That’s when Fortner decided to put her soccer skills to use, and tried out for the Holly Pond football team.
“She just approached me about it. You know, I’ve got daughters and I always tell them they can do anything they want to do, so I wanted to give her a chance,” said Holly Pond Head Football Coach Mike Bates.
The five-foot-tall senior, who had never kicked a football before in her life, made the team, becoming the first female player in school history.
“I noticed when she was kicking, she was kicking the right way because there’s a distinct sound it makes,” Bates said.
“I had never kicked a football. My brother had showed me a couple of YouTube videos, and he told me just to watch them to see how I should approach it,” Fortner added.
The longest field goal Fortner has made so far is around 30 yards. She has more of a soccer-style approach.
“I take about five steps at an angle, and just kick it,” Fortner said.
“It’s been difficult for us because we’ve never really had a solid kicker before, but she’s solid. She plays hard, works hard, and our guys really block for her, it’s encouraging,” said quarterback Michael Lambert.
Fortner is 1-5 on the season, making her first field goal against Brindlee Mountain.
“I had hit it wrong, so I didn’t think it was going to go through, but then it went through. That’s the most excited I’ve ever been for scoring in anything,” Fortner said.
Fortner has emerged as one of the favorites, but will continue to battle it out each week for the starting kicking job.
Holly Pond is 2-1 on the season, and plays Susan Moore Friday night.
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