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Laney Smith earns role as Truman High School's varsity football kicker

Laney Smith
Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 23:41:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — If she never tried out for the team, she'd still be kicking herself. Senior Laney Smith is Truman High School's varsity football kicker.

Smith is receiving awards and reaching goals, one goalpost at a time — she earned this week's Hy-Vee Athlete of the Week honor.

"She came out, she kicked, and we just hype her up the best we can, because she's a dawg out here kicking the ball, making field goals. She's made all of hers but one, but that wasn't her fault," said Trey Stone, senior long-snapper, offensive and defensive lineman.

Here's the real kicker, this is Smith's first year ever playing football.

"Me and a friend of mine were just out here at night messing around and I was making the field goals, so I came and I talked to the coach about it, and I tried out and I got the spot," Smith said.

Smith is the only female football player in the Independence School District, but don't refer to her as, "the girl kicker."

"I've been tremendously impressed with her, just her poise and coming out with her demeanor, just willing to attack and really just to step into an arena that's obviously dominated primarily by boys, and she hasn't been phased by anything," said Charlie Pugh, Truman head football coach.

Confidence is key, that's Smith's message to anyone holding themselves back from reaching their goals.

"If you want to try something different, then you should definitely go for it because, in the end, you don't want to regret something that you were able to do but didn't do," Smith said.