Last year, Vanderbilt University’s Sarah Fuller made NCAA history becoming the first woman to play and score in a Power Five football game as a kicker. But at West Allegheny High School, a girl drilling field goals and sending extra points through the uprights is the norm.
Casie Yonker shines on the soccer pitch and under the Friday night lights. She never imagined football as a part of her athletic career, but now she can’t imagine life without it.
It’s just crazy, because last year, no one even knew me,” Casie Yonker explained. “Now, it’s the first week of high school, and everyone knows my name.”
With her kicking ability, it’s hard not to. Her friends who played football convinced her to kick for the middle school team; but when it came varsity tryouts this past summer, she was a bit unsure.
“I had a lot of friends say ‘Casie, you have to play, there’s no way, you’re so good, you have to.’ I was like, I don’t know,” the freshman said gingerly.
Yet, her teammates and coaching staff knew. Make no mistake — she’s not looked at or treated differently just because she’s a girl. Her head coach expects her to go out there and play to the best of her ability, just like all of her teammates.
The way l look at is if you can kick the football, and you can put it through the uprights and you can kick down the field, we’re going to give you a shot,” said Indians Head Coach Dave Schoppe.
And she’s proven herself from the first time she stepped on the field, going a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals and 4-for-4 on extra points in the Indians opener against Trinity. Yet she’ll be the first to tell you there’s some nerves.
“For half a second, I’m just like, what if I miss this?” said Yonker. “This could cost the game. But then the worries go away, because I can see all the boys are there like, ‘come on Case, you’re good. You got this.’”
The freshman is consistently giving credit to her teammates and coaches. Yet they’ll be the first to tell how talented and tough she is.
“She did get hit after a kick, and she came off the field and had a smile on her face,” Schoppe said with a smile.
“I was like, I want to hit someone,” Yonker said emphatically. “But it wasn’t a big deal, and I’ve been hit a lot harder in soccer or even just practices and stuff.”
Her message to young athletes who want to be in her shoes one day? You never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.
“Don’t worry about anyone else’s opinions or thoughts on things,” said Yonker. “Because, I mean it’s your life, you do whatever you want. If you have fun with it, and you can do it and you’re good at it, go for it.”