Thursday, Prep Rally wrote about Jackie Kasburg, the Chippewa (Ohio) placekicker and homecoming queen, and how her story was particularly unique. Well, it turns out that it would have been particularly unique two weeks ago, but she was actually only one of two homecoming queens to take the field last Friday. Amazingly, the other one even won her game.
According to the Charlotte Observer and WCNC.com, Piedmont (N.C.) High School homecoming queen Jade Montgomery also happens to be one of the most accurate place-kickers in Union County, following the lead of her brother Mason, who kicked for the Panthers before graduating and heading off to East Carolina last spring. Together with Kapsburg, Montgomery joins a small, elite troupe of known homecoming queens who also kicked for their high school teams, a group which also includes Katie Hnida of the 1998 Chatfield (Colo.) High School Chargers and Anna Lakovitch of the 1997 Crest (Fla.) High School Chargers. Kasburg and Montgomery are believed to be the first homecoming queens who also played for their high school teams in a decade.
Last Friday, Jade Montgomery had a night to remember, both on the football field and off. During her team's homecoming game against Waxhaw Cuthbertson, Piedmont put up 49 points. Seven of those points were scored by Montgomery, who has hit 31 of her 33 point-after-touchdown attempts and both of her field goal attempts, from 23 and 33 yards.
Still, it took significant cajoling to convince Montgomery to walk on to the football field in the first place.
"Like any coach," Piedmont coach Frank Ambrose told the Observer. "You have open tryouts, and no one was getting it done, and we talked to her."
But it took more than Piedmont's coach to convince Montgomery to move over from a successful soccer career that has collegiate coaches hoping she'll be back on a soccer field next fall. To get her to kick footballs, Montgomery needed encouragement from her brother and her father.
"She was like 'no, no, no' the whole time," Jade Montgomery's father, Tim Montgomery, told the Observer. "That was the furthest thing from her mind. But her brother kept talking to her, kept saying, 'C'mon, Jade, just try and see if you can do it.'"
After a successful stint in practice, Montgomery transitioned into a regular season which has seen Piedmont role to an impressive 6-1 record. In the process she's gained the trust and respect of her teammates.
"I've known Jade for a long time," Stewart Hinson, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound tackle and East Carolina-commit told the Observer. "I knew she was a great athlete and she's more than lived up to my expectations. And it's like having a little sister out there. You protect her as much as you can."
That protection has come into effect twice this season, when an earlier opponent rushed through the line and committed a personal foul by knocking Montgomery over on a point-after attempt. Neither attempt kept her from hitting the extra point, and both drew flags ... and more.
"We found the player after that," Hinson said, "and we hit him pretty hard on the field (during a play). And when she won homecoming queen last week, she was actually embarrassed about it, but we gave her congratulations. It was funny to see the first girls' football player Piedmont's ever had win. I'll never forget it."