October 03, 2011
Regardless of the outcome of Pinckney (Mich.) High's homecoming game against Grand Blanc (Mich.) High, Brianna Amat had already had a great night. The senior was named homecoming queen at halftime, and the two-sport varsity starter had also connected on a huge field goal, giving her team a 9-0 lead in the third quarter against highly regarded Grand Blanc, which has been ranked as high as No. 7 in the state of Michigan during the 2011 season.
Eventually, a final stop ensured that Pinckney would emerge with its second win of the season with a score of 9-7 ... and that the game-winning points came off the boot of Amat, who also stars for the Pirates' girls soccer team.
"It was amazing," Amat told the Livingston Daily Press. "It was a good night. I'm glad I could do that for the guys, because they deserve every win they can get. The team ... they're such good players, but they have to get over that little hump, and they can win every game."
The player getting Pinckney over that hump on a chilly homecoming night was Amat, whose winning kick came from 31 yards. That's not a chip shot in nasty weather with a school's homecoming hopes on the line.
Amazingly, the young kicker also had to deal with her own team unintentionally "icing" her, as well. When the Pirates lined up for the field goal, Amat's holder noticed that the team's long snapper wasn't on the field. Somehow, he hadn't been told that the team was about to kick a field goal, and Pinckney had to burn a time out to get him on the field.
That gave Amat more time to think about her kick, not that it changed anything. When she finally got to step up to the ball, the newly crowned homecoming queen drilled the kick from the left hash, in one fell swoop emerging as the hero of her school's homecoming and exonerating her missed extra point following Pinckney's lone touchdown in the game.
The kick was the longest of Amat's still brief football career, which began after Pinckney coach Dan Burkholder saw her kick footballs after a soccer practice, when she had admitted to her soccer coach that she was interested in kicking footballs as well.
The two sports don't interfere with each other, which made it possible for Amat to emerge as an unlikely double hero on Friday night. According to Fox Sports Detroit, the teen -- who plans to attend Western Michigan in 2012 -- said she had no idea she would be part of her school's homecoming court until she was summoned from the team's locker room during halftime, when she walked out onto the field and was crowned queen.
"I knew I was up for a nomination, but I never thought in a million years I would actually win," Amat told Fox Sports Detroit. "But I ended up winning with [homecoming king] Mike Vorencamp, and it was pretty exciting for me."
Not a bad night for a high school senior, huh? Amat may not be the only homecoming queen to ever connect for a kick on a football field on that night -- Chippewa (Ohio) High kicker Jackie Kasburg kicked three extra points in her team's homecoming loss in 2010 and Romeo (Mich.) High's Ashley Finn also connected on an extra point during her school's homecoming night -- but if nothing else, she'll certainly be the only girl in Pinckney to wear a tiara and a helmet on the same day.
"I was told that they [the crowd] were all cheering, but I couldn't hear any of them," Amat told Fox Sports Detroit. "I was totally zoned out because I was so focused on the game. I just really wanted to win."
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