H.S. FOOTBALL | Bullitt East's Christian Foster kickin' it through senior year
10/12/2016 11:06 AM
Christian Foster wow-ed fans, her own teammates and even coaches when she went a perfect 8/8 on field goal attempts in her first football game on September 30; she even recovered her own kickoff that day. Christian said she always knew she had the ability, she just needed the opportunity.
“All my friends were like ‘Christian you should try to be the kicker, like how cool would that be?’ So when our original kicker was at a soccer tournament, I went to the coach and was like i’ll try it, i’ll fill in and he let me so now it’s just a normal thing,” Foster explained.
She never considered playing football before this season, though as her dad’s only daughter, she explained he did always want a football player. Christian is a soccer player- last year’s leading scorer in the entire state.
“My parents just said I kind of came home from kindergarten and was like ‘I want to play soccer’, so they signed me up for YMCA and it’s been ever since that,” she said.
“Tremendous athlete. She’s in great physical condition. She’s strong, she’s hard to push off the ball, so even on the football team- she’s able to be out there and she’s as physical as a lot of the guys she’s just not quite as big,” said Steve Gentry, the Bullitt East Girls Soccer head coach.
Soccer and everything that went with it came easily for Christian, but football was a little different.
“I can take free kicks on a soccer field and they’re different than they are on the football field, just the steps are different,” Foster said. “I had to learn how to put on shoulder pads, and like. helmets. I had to figure out all of that as well. I mean at first I was like ‘I’m just going to put this on’ but there’s like straps and I had to make sure it’s tight enough so that is definitely different.”
She embraced the role as a female kicker on a team of males, but what was more surprising was how they embraced her.
“On game days its kind of different. I walk in and I change out of my school clothes in the girls bathroom outside by the concession stand and then I just kind of stand outside the locker room and I’m like ‘can I come in yet?’” She said with a laugh. “And then when everyone is fine they’re like ‘oh yeah, come on, Christian’ and so they’re really welcoming. They’ve accepted me with open arms. The only thing that’s kind of funny is when we talk about things- especially like brotherhood or like when they say ‘hey guys’, they always include ‘hey guys and girl’ or brotherhood and sisterhood. They always throw that in and I’m like- you don’t have to. You can call me one of the guys, I don’t mind.”
“I think they enjoy and like that she’s part of the club- of the football program more so than I would have ever thought and they’ve accepted her just as if she was a male even though she’s a female out there kicking for us,” said head football coach, Mark Sander. Coming from an all-boys school he never dreamed he would have a girl on his football team, but he added he has been pleasantly surprised with her leg strength.
Christian always hoped to use her success on the soccer field to be a role model- she is an EKU commit, but she hopes playing football can show girls like her younger sister that you can do anything you set your mind to.
“I think girls should always try and play sports. Even if like, sometimes people don’t think that’s good for girls, like competitiveness. I think that is an amazing thing for girls to learn. And then now being on the football team, younger girls will be like ‘I want to play football’, so one girl came and watched me at Nelson County, because she plays football for her little league and I think that is the coolest thing,” Foster said. “Just seeing girls branch out and do things that aren’t the status quo for girls.”
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