With 11 state titles since 1970, Lincoln County is a football program with more tradition than most. But history will be made this season when three girls suit up for the varsity.
"These will be the first," said Lincoln County historian Johnny Walton, who has chronicled Lincoln County football history going back 100 years. "Rarely have we even had a female student manager on the team."
The girls are sophomores Kholi Carruth, Carly Carruth and Gianna Anderson, all accomplished enough as athletes that they made their varsity soccer and fastpitch softball teams as freshmen last academic year.
On the football team, they are punters and place-kickers.
"They started coming out in the summer and made all the workouts, and they're part of the team," Lincoln County coach Michael Pollock said. "We did a significant amount of lifting and running, and they were out there stride for stride with everybody else. They showed me they were serious."
Pollock said that all three would get opportunities to kick in Lincoln County's scrimmage game at Evans. The three played in an intra-squad scrimmage last week. Carly Carruth punted. Kholi kicked off. They are twins. Anderson kicked an extra point.
"The boys were as excited about that extra point as anything else we did," Pollock said. "They've been really supportive."
Anderson confirmed that in an interview with WRDW-TV of Augusta this week.
"I guess they just didn't believe it at first," she told the TV station. "But whenever we walked in at practice, they just said, 'Hey,' like they normally do at school."
Pollock said the three will dress out for varsity games, but he's made no decisions about playing time. The three are still relatively new to the sport and to kicking, and Pollock said they would need to continue working on leg strength.
"They're still young," Pollock said. "We haven't made any decisions about starting. Certainly if they don't make it [into a game] on a Friday night, they'll get the opportunity on JV. They are competing."
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