In 2020, Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller kicked a pair of extra points to become the first female to score a point in a Power Five college game. What Fuller did that year has shown that women belong in all sports, including football.

Abby Knight from Granite City has taken what Fuller did and has brought it to the metro area as she has assumed the kicking duties for the football team and has not looked back. The sophomore is a perfect 4-for-4 in extra point attempts and is 1-for-1 in field goal attempts this season.

Knight has always been a football fan with her family and becoming a kicker for the high school team was something that just happened.

“It was a last-minute thing as me and my dad have always liked football and have watched it over the years,” stated Knight. “I know that some soccer players were kickers for the team, and I was not afraid to try. I always have been known to have a strong kick, so I just wanted to try it.”

Knight is also on the Granite City soccer team in the spring, so many people may think that there are a lot of differences between kicking a football and then kicking a soccer ball. That really is not the case.

“It is the same in kicking both, but there are a few differences,” said Knight. “There is a little bit more technique involved when kicking a football, but there is the same form in kicking both. Football is faster as you don’t have a lot of time whereas in soccer you can take your time. You only get a second to kick a football, so it is the same form, but I like both.”

Since there are not a lot of girls that play football, Knight had to convince her parents that she would be fine by playing. Her father was all for it, but her mom had some reservations.

“My dad kicked into his dad mode when I said that I wanted to do it,” stated Knight. “He said that you need to do this and this is how you do that, so he was all on board with me doing it. My mom was a little hesitant at first because she did not want me to get hurt as she is very protective of me. Now, she thinks that it is very cool, but my dad has helped me through the whole process. He is on the sidelines with me and helps me warm up. He has taught me everything that I have learned.”

What Fuller did two years ago has had a major effect on what Knight is doing now as she looked back at Fuller’s accomplishments and knew that she could the same thing here at the high school level.

“She inspired me, and I hope that I can inspire other female athletes to do the same,” said Knight. “It is a really cool thing, and I knew that I could do that as well.”

Being a girl in a football locker room can be very intimidating, but not for Knight as she has gained the respect of her male teammates at Granite City in a very quick fashion.

“At first, they were shocked because I showed up at the door and walked in and they all looked at me weirdly and surprised,” said Knight. “Now, they are very excited as it is something new for them. They work so hard at practice, and it is exciting, and they are all super cool and I love them all so much.”

Anyone that has played or seen a football practice knows that it is tough and fast-paced, and it is the same with soccer practices. Knight has seen that she is capable to adapt to both of those pieces of training to be successful.

“I play club soccer now in the fall as it is a year-round sport for me,” stated Knight. “Right now, I am juggling both sports. I go to football practice after school, then club soccer practice at night, then homework after that, and then repeat it every day.”

That juggling act also includes making sure that she is getting the job done in the classroom as she is an outstanding student as well as a terrific athlete.

“It is definitely tricky because school always comes first,” said Knight. “My coaches and my parents help me as much as they can with everything, and they help me juggle it all. Some nights, I must stay up late on some nights, and everyone helps me out the next day.”

Congratulations to Abby Knight from Granite City on being named our HSSC/Scoops with Danny Mac Student-Athlete of the Week and we wish her all of the best during both the football and soccer seasons.

 

Jim Powers
Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at japowers2421@yahoo.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan