ATLANTA - Brittany Havenner and Taylor Tidaback are the only girls on their high school football teams, but the place-kickers didn’t feel so alone last week.
Their teams – Villa Rica and South Paulding – played each other in a Region 5-AAAAA game.
Havenner, a junior at South Paulding, was 7-of-7 on extra points and kicked field goals of 29 and 35 yards in South Paulding’s 55-34 victory.
Tidaback, a senior at Villa Rica, made four of five extra points. She made two field goals in Villa Rica’s first game, a 27-3 victory over Woodland of Cartersville.
Both have long histories in soccer, but Havenner got an earlier start in football. This is her second season on the varsity. She made news last season when she became the first South Paulding football player to be named homecoming princess.
“She is a hard worker and refuses to let us treat her any differently than anyone else out there,” said South Paulding assistant coach Jeffery Sloan. “She is at every practice and goes through everything with all of the boys.”
Havenner missed only two point-after kicks last season, Sloan said, and one was blocked on a bobbled hold. This season, she’s the full-time field-goal kicker.
At Villa Rica, Tidaback won the starting job in the summer under new coach Chad Frazier.
“No guys from the soccer team were willing to come out and kick, so we were in a bind,” Frazier said. “I knew Taylor played on a very high level with her club soccer. I knew she was a great kid and honor student. Both of her parents are coaches, so I felt like with all of that she would be able to handle the pressure of playing under the lights.”
Tidaback has made field goals from 39 and 25 yards, and she hasn’t missed a field-goal attempt.
“She responded like I thought she would,” Frazier said. “She is very competitive and has a great work ethic. Her teammates all respect her. They see she comes to practice every day and puts in the work to earn the spot she has.”
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