Chippewa (Ohio) High School senior Jackie Kasburg had a one-of-a-kind homecoming last Friday. Wearing her customary pink gameday cleats, she kicked three extra points during the Chipps' 55-27 loss to Rittman (Ohio) High in the first game action of her high school career. Then, to top off the night, she was named homecoming queen.
"I grew up with football, playing in the backyard with my brothers," Kasburg told the Associated Press. "I just thought [the team] isn't doing so good and I might as well try out to see if I can help.
"I had never kicked a football until three weeks ago. My dad took me out the Sunday before my first practice and had me doing stuff. I was terrible at first, but then my dad told me the steps to take. I love it now. I think the fact I've played soccer for 13 years helped me pick it up really quickly."
According to The Daily Record of Wooster, Ohio, and the Associated Press, Kasburg on Friday nailed all three of her point-after touchdown kicks, which were the first she's attempted since joining Chippewa's team. The Chipps were shut out in their previous three games. The senior earned her placekicking role by out-kicking the team's prior starter, Mike Bramley, in a practice competition, and quickly gained the support of her new coach.
"She's such a great kid, and a real positive influence on the younger kids," Chippewa coach Kevin Wolf told The Daily Record. "She's a winner. She does all the drills, because I can't put her out there if she can't protect herself."
The homecoming queen, who stands approximately 5-foot-6 and 140 pounds, isn't content to settle for extra points, either. Kasburg has connected on practice field goals from as far as 43 yards, and she's made it clear she eventually wants a shot at kicking off, too.
For now, she's unable to join other special teams units because of a lack of tackling experience, but she's busy working on that with Chippewa's freshman team during part of the school's afternoon practices.
"I've been working on my tackling with the freshman team," Kasburg told The Daily Record. "If I went up against someone like [senior wide receiver-linebacker] Andrew Schickler right now, I'd get drilled."
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That being said, her teammates have plenty of confidence in her commitment, and her ability to eventually add other duties to her current point-after portfolio.
"I think the team has been very receptive to having her around," Chippewa quarterback Shane Zacour told The Daily Record. "Any talent we can add is basically going to be accepted. She's came out here, worked hard and even gone through tackling drills. She keeps getting better as a kicker, too."
Her kicking may keep improving, but it will be hard for her to ever become more popular. After all, she's already been voted homecoming queen.
"It would be great to look back in 10 years and know I helped our team win and won homecoming queen the same night," Kasburg told The Daily Record's Aaron Dorksen. "Who else can say that?"
No one can say that, including Kasburg. Of course, no one else can say they hit three extra points and won homecoming queen the same night, either. That might not be quite as impressive, but it comes pretty close.
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