The First Female JV Football Field Kicker


Brandon Smith, Author


Student Athlete Sarah Rader is the first Female to kick for the JV Football team at Spring Mills High School. 11th Grader Sarah Rader started kicking for the JV Football team the year of 2021 during a pivotal time in age where females are the focus in male dominated sports. Rader scored 3 out of 5 Field Goals for the JV Football team this season. She started her journey by playing soccer for fun at the age of three, then going on to play for the Girl’s soccer team at Spring Mills High School her first year. “… one of a core group of several players on our roster who is directly responsible for turning the program around over the past two seasons.” sud Coach Baxter, the coach of the Girl”s Soccer team 

Being heavily inspired, her desire to keep kicking extended herself into improving and practicing kicking for football and soccer. “My sister Emma and playing soccer and loving it made me want to start kicking, as my brother is on the Football team as well.” Following her inspirations, there was a lot of people to give thanks to the opprotunity they had put her in, “I would thank all of the football coaches for being so supportive, especially Coach Sims for giving me this opportunity. My teammates, soccer, and football for being so encouraging of me doing this. Hayden, for helping me every practice with kicking. My family and friends pushed me to do something different and be so supportive. Brittney, for helping me every day, without her, I wouldn’t physically be able to do either sport, and Mr. Kamlowsky, Mr. Salfia, and Mr. Wilson for cheering us on at games and being so supportive.” said Rader. 

Playing both soccer and football was a challenge for Sarah due to environmental factors, but also a learning experience. “Having played soccer my whole life and knowing most of my teammates well, soccer is a more natural environment for me. Football is more of a tough environment, but I love it along with all my teammates and coaches. It is like having a ton of brothers.” she said. Knowing there is a difference between football and soccer, before playing it can be a little heavy on her nerves. “Before I kick, sometimes it is nerve racking, I always wanna do my best with it. Whether it is field goals, extra points, or kickoffs.” Rader said. Nerves was not the only thing that arose, which was Covid that took palce. 

Covid has been a worldwide incident and has given Student Athletes like Sarah a challenging time engaging in Sports. “Covid has made it more difficult to practice and play, especially having to run around in a mask during the beginning of covid.” Rader said. Masks make it difficult for people to be comfortable while playing any sport. Also, it was rough knowing that students could not cheer the teams on due to covid guidelines, making everything very dull, and not joyful for the players and the fans. 

Rader being the first Female to kick for the Spring Mills High JV football team may inspire all future female cardinals who want to break the gender norms to do so! Rader goes on to say,“I hope it inspires people to do something different and step out of their comfort zone.” As this being her Junior Year in High School, she has so much to look forward to, as to playing soccer, kicking for the Spring Mills High School Football team, and graduating as a class of 2023. Cheer on Sarah Rader as she keeps on breaking the norm’ and scoring for the Cardinals!