MANSFIELD, Texas - A 15-year-old kicker is about to make history for Timberview High School in Mansfield ISD.
Emma Young is set to be the first female kicker, on the typically all-boys varsity football team, to play in the playoffs.
She tried out this year, first starting on JV, and worked her way up.
The teen grew up surrounded by football, but her sport of choice is and always has been soccer.
Prior to this season, she had the idea of kicking footballs with the boys.
Kicking comes naturally for Young.
"I’m used to kicking a ball, so, I mean, it can’t be that much different than soccer, right?" she said.
She used to just be a girls’ soccer goalkeeper, but now she’s kicking for Mansfield ISD's Timberview High School’s varsity football team.
"I feel like, at first, it’s kind of like, what?" she said.
Young grew up with the team. Her father has been their defensive line coach for 16 seasons.
"She can hit it. So I was like, well, that’s not too bad," her father, Jason Young, said.
She decided to try out this season.
After several games on the JV squad, the sophomore moved up to varsity where, she shares extra-point and kickoff duties with another kicker.
"I treat her just like any other player," her father said. "If she messes up, she’s going to get it, you know, just like anybody else on the field gets it."
She’s made 15 of 20 extra points this season, according to the district.
She’s set to kick in first game of the playoffs Friday. The first female in school history to do so.
She hopes to be an inspiration to other girls.
"Just try it, you never know. If you can, might as well," she said.
To some, it might seem out of place, but her teammates say she’s one of them.
"It’s honestly pretty cool because, it’s like, we don’t see her as a female, we see her as another friend, we see her as another teammate, we see her as family," long snapper Jayce Ward said.
Young said, if anything, they’re almost too nice.
"I think they’re a little more chill around me. They’re not as crazy," she added.
Is Young’s dad nervous about his daughter getting hurt?
"We always tell her, you know, you got to make a business decision because, you know, this is your second sport. Soccer’s your first sport," he said.
But he said he’s not at all nervous about her performance on the field.
"I’m fine. I know what she can do. I’ve seen her compete," he added.
The teenager, however, believes when it’s time to kick, he hides emotions.
"He’s secretly biting his nails, very nervous," she said.
Young said she has no fear while kicking.
But, just in case, she wears lucky number 87.
"It was my dad’s football number, it’s been in the family, so might as well carry on the tradition," she said.
Timberview is scheduled to play Frisco Heritage Friday night.