Jersey Goodall Pioneers in Her Gridiron Endeavor

The varsity kicker is exhibiting an intensity and a keenness like nobody has seen before


Alix Queen

Jersey Goodall (left) in her #45 training jersey completing sprints while Head Coach Ryan McMillen (right) instructs and oversees the process.

Gavin Block, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

When you generally think of a high school football player, the first image that comes to your mind may not be a female. However, Liberty junior Jersey Goodall is blazing a newly set trail, playing primarily as a kicker for the varsity football team. Although she did not play in Liberty’s inaugural matchup of the season versus Timberland, the Eagles’ #17 will surely become further incorporated in the team as the year continues.

Though Goodall has only some experience playing the sport (formerly as a hobby), she is very eager to get into a more competitive gear as she joins the Eagles football roster.

“I’ve played around with my friends before, but I just started getting serious about it this year,” she stated.

When asked if there was a specific person that sparked an interest in football for Goodall, she remarked, “One of my friends who plays football for a different high school did, and then I just like football in general. I check the Steelers and I love playing.”

Goodall noted that she adores the collective and united aura of the group she plays with. She is also enjoying how the experience has positively altered the perceptions of her peers. 

“I love the team and the atmosphere of the coaches,” commented Goodall. “It’s fun and you get to know a lot of the boys in different ways than you would usually see them at school.”

Varsity football head coach Ryan McMillen mentioned that two or three girls have already donned the aquiline Liberty football uniform before Goodall entered the picture. It is clearly seen that inclusivity is a recurring, valued idea among the Liberty team’s members and administration.

“She [Goodall] asked us last spring if she could come out and kick,” Coach McMillen commented.  “It’s really cool. We treat her like anyone else, like just another member of the team.”

Goodall may not be Liberty’s first female football player, but her involvement with the team still serves as an inspiration for girls to know that they can be just as capable and strong-willed as their male counterparts. Her unique presence is an accomplishment that should be admired by everyone, regardless of gender or background.