By Michelle Da Silva - Illustrator
“My football pads sit on my front porch ‘cause my mom won’t let me put them in the house,“ said Emily Tucker, the new kicker for the sophomore football team. Even though Tucker has recently been cut from the school’s soccer team, which was devastating for her and her family, she said, “I’ll still play soccer . . . on a club team, and for the rest of my life.”
Coach Gunnarson considered Tucker for the kicker position not out of pity, but out of his own knowledge that she could do well on the team and for the team, and he was also rather impressed with her courage. “Gunnarson came to me and asked me if I wanted to kick for the football team, and I was like, heck yeah I do!” She tried out, and got the job.
“My football pads sit on my front porch ‘cause my mom won’t let me put them in the house.” -Emily Tucker
As Tucker is getting used to the new environment, she mentions how nice the boys are when she needs help with her chin guard or helmet. “My line . . . is very patient with me.” Tucker has been playing soccer since she was four years old and she has been struggling to get the hang of how the gear works and the technique of kicking for football. “In soccer,” she says, “kicking has a different purpose. The transition from soccer to football is difficult because of the shape of the ball and how much higher the ball needs to go.”
“Disney Channel did a feature on this girl [Sarah Patterson] on the football team,” Tucker said, and ever since then, the Tucker sisters would talk about it every once in awhile. Now it has finally come true for Emily, and it sounds like she’s loving it. “The coaches are amazing! The team is amazing! The parents are amazing!”
Even though she was tackled once (not her favorite thing), Tucker has an incredible support system when it comes to teammates, coaches, parents, and friends. And on the team, the boys always have her back.