Story by Kyndal Ganoe, BCS Communications Intern
Senior Kadence Walls made Tiger history by being the first female student athlete to score a point in a varsity football game. On Friday, November 5th Walls walked onto the field with no prior football experience but left the field with her first seven career points.
Kadence has been a member of the Tiger soccer and basketball teams all four years of high school. After finishing her senior soccer season with an Elite Eight appearance, Kadence saw an opportunity to use her soccer skills in another capacity.
Going into the playoffs, the team needed a kicker. Kadence heard the role needed to be filled and took the initiative to talk to Athletic Director and Head Football Coach David Clark.
“What makes football such a great game to play and coach, no one really cares who you are or where you came from as long as you can get the job done,” said Coach Clark.
As a football coach Clark realizes having a kicker you can rely on is very important in all big games. “We have been able to kick more extra points with her than we have the entire season,” said Clark. As the Tigers work towards the state championship game, extra points and field goals could make the difference.
Every day Coach Joey Downs works with Kadence and her kicking. “I could tell how good she was gonna be from her first kick,” said Coach Downs. He went on to explain that, “there is a special sound that comes off the ball when someone can really kick it.” Coach Downs, who has worked with some of the best kickers, knows this sound well. He said Kadence’s foot made that same special sound when it hit the ball.
Downs believes Kadence’s experience playing ‘big games’ in basketball and soccer has prepared her for the intensity of post season play in another sport. “She’s not scared of anything, and will not back down in a pressure-filled moment. The big moments don’t faze her at all,” Coach Downs explained.
Walls admits that her first game was nerve racking, but once she got on the field, “all the nerves went out the door.” Now that she’s got two games down, it’s become natural for her.
Kadence likes that the coaches push her just as hard as everyone else. She said, “they let me know when I’m doing good, but don’t fail to tell me when I’m struggling.” This is the treatment she expected, she wants to work just as hard as the boys on the team, if not harder. When Coach Clark and Coach Downs were asked to describe her work ethic, they only needed three words,“off the charts” and “second to none”.
If you know Kadence Walls, you know competitive is her middle name. It’s no surprise she’s so excited for postseason play. When asked if she is happy with her decision to play she answered, “This is an accomplishment and experience that will stick with me for a lifetime. I hope to inspire other young girls to follow in my footsteps.”
Kadence wants to thank her Tiger Family for the overwhelming support she has received.