Kicking the Stereotypes
The Owensville Dutchmen went all the way to the state championship game last season. A place they might never have seen without some good coaching and a little creative hallway recruiting.n
In 27 years of coaching, Randy Crowe has seen plenty of big blockers, but he's always had a lot of trouble finding a consistent kicker.
"The first time Stephanie was out here kicking...there was some snickering, but when she hit five or six in a row that all stopped," said Crowe.
"Everybody else was practicing on the other side of the field and they were laughing and thought it was a big joke. But then as soon as I kicked the first one they just shut up because it went in," said Stephanie Chapman, a junior place kicker at Owensville.
Chapman kicks the extra points and Brook Adkison kicks the field goals. The system and the ladies started from scratch last season.
"I guess it was the week before school he got me pads and stuff. I had no clue how to put them on. So, the day of the first game during lunchtime I had to go learn how to put pads on because I had no idea how to," said Adkison, also a junior at Owensville.
A quick learner, by the time Owensville reached the playoffs, Adkison figured how to win a football game with a field goal in the final seconds.
"We were tied and there were only a couple seconds left I just ran on the field and jumped on her. I was so excited for her and it was just amazing because we were moving on," said Chapman.
"At that time it was her longest field goal about 34 yards. Whenever she kicked it, it went through and it was one of the biggest kicks we've ever had here," said Crowe.
Teammates accept them and realize they are special in more ways than one.
"They're some of the best kickers in the conference. They make all their extra points. They can make field goals. They're out here at practice everyday," said team captain Nathan Cooper.
But football for females still isn't perfect.
"After the game they're all like, 'hey can I get your number?" said Chapman.
But don't worry about the women who wear Dutchmen on their helmets. The town of Owensville hasn't kicked equality.
"They include us.. On most sports they put good luck Dutchmen and girls. They make sure they put a little something in there," said Chapman.
"I've had some coaches say they have girls and they want them to kick. You know, they're really proud of what our girls are doing. I think there is a place in football for girls," said Crowe.
This season, the ladies have more responsibilities, coach is letting Chapman boot the kickoffs. Only one catch: she's not allowed to stay on the field and tackle. Coach Crowe doesn't want his star getting hurt.
Owensville is 6-1 after beating state ranked Union 65-40 on Friday. In the game, Chapman went 9 for 9 on extra points.