Female Kicker a First for Football

Sarafina Valenti is a remarkable athlete in a lot of ways. She plays soccer, basketball, and participates in field events for the track team.   

Most notably, she is the first female to ever participate in a varsity football game.

She became the kicker of the football team this summer.

The head football coach, George Parkinson, asked the soccer coach if there were any seniors who would be interested in kicking for the team.  Valenti had a brief tryout and was selected.

“I thought it would be interesting to try something different and thought it would be a lot of fun to be able to help the football team out,” she said.   

Valenti got her first opportunity to kick for the team on September 4th during the Bears first regular season game against the Exeter Eagles.  She missed on her only opportunity of the night, but describes her experience in the game as a “moment that I will have for the rest of my life.”

One week later against Upper Perkiomen, Valenti became the first female ever to record a point for the football team. She would also make four more extra points that night as the Bears defeated the Indians 41-36 and Valenti ended the night 5 for 6 in extra point attempts.

Valenti’s friends, family and soccer teammates were all very supportive of her new role. “Everyone was really excited to hear the news and were very supportive from the beginning.  My soccer teammates, friends and family were excited to come to the games and watch me kick.”

Her football teammates accepted her right away, she said.

“I feel the players and staff have made it very easy to become a member of the team.”

Being the kicker has not conflicted with her soccer schedule. Valenti trains with the football team following her soccer practice.  

She did need to prepare for her new position, saying, “There is a slight difference when kicking field goals as opposed to goal kicks, so I needed to make an adjustment.”

Even though Valenti is the kicker, she has experienced the hard hits that are part of the sport.  During the homecoming game on Friday October 9th against the Methacton Warriors, she was hit by a defender during an extra point attempt.  The play resulted in a roughing the kicker penalty against Methacton.  

“I was more in shock and surprised that I actually got hit because it was after the play,” Valenti said. “I never thought that I would actually get hit, but always knew it was a possibility.”

Valenti said her goal for her rookie football season has been simply “to make the most of every opportunity that I have on the field.”

So far this season, Valenti has gone 0 for 1 in field goal attempts and is 8 for 12 in extra point attempts.  The Bears have four regular season games remaining this season.  Looking ahead to the remaining games, Valenti said, “I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the football team and I look forward to continuing to kick for them for the rest of the season.”

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