KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) – High school football is primarily a boys’ sport, but a girl from Kaukauna is breaking the trend.
Instead of watching from the stands, Kaukauna High School sophomore Ava Mau is right in the middle of the action as the starting kicker for the school’s junior varsity football team. It also adapts to the university team.
“They treat me like a member of the family, as we all are, because it is one of our core values,” said Ava.
Ava has played soccer most of her life and tried for the soccer team, as a kicker, last year as a freshman without ever having played soccer before.
“I started in football when I was three and then it just came naturally, but there was definitely a learning curve,” Ava said.
Dedicated Kaukauna kicking coach David Peterson says he worked with Ava in the winter before his freshman year.
“I know her freshman season, she had 22 points, now she has them, and then she did JV with that year as well. Now this year she’s the JV player and she’s constantly improving, ”said coach Peterson.
Kaukauna has had a soccer player or two in the past, but Ava was the first to score.
“She is very motivated, hard worker, fully supported by the team. I mean, I think it was her second game, the JV game, she did a kickoff tackle and the sidelines just broke and since then, they’ve been, you really know, part of the game. ‘team,’ Peterson said.
Ava has left her mark on the program since joining last year as a freshman, and is hoping other girls will be inspired to follow suit and dress up.
“Being able to face someone once in a while is really fun,” said Ava.
Besides Ava, linebacker Isabel Beyer plays on the college junior team just down the street at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, the school’s first female football player.
Just as number thirteen is a force to be reckoned with, there are plenty of other girls leading the way in soccer across the state.
“We played Appleton North a few weeks ago and they were like ‘oh my god that’s a girl’ and then we played Fond du Lac and it’s like ‘oh that’s great to see another girl here, “” Ava said.
The Kaukauna varsity team plays Appleton East at 7 p.m. ET. Friday night.
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