A Division I football game between Vanderbilt and Missouri, a so-called ‘Power 5 game’ made history this weekend with the first female being part of the starting squad.
Sarah Fuller is now a hero to thousands of young girls in her home town of Nashville and even more around the world when she took part in last weekends game.
Fuller opened the second half with a ‘squib kick’, a low fizzing and unpredictable kick, that was picked up on the 35-yard line by Missouri.
For Fullers performance, Fuller was named SEC Special Teams Player of the week.
Vanderbilt football team is struggling currently with the number of players out because of COVID-19 testing,
Fuller got the call from a member of the coaching staff this week and was asked if she wanted to try out for the kicker spot. She gladly accepted and was chosen to start.
Fuller mentioned after the game “Honestly, it’s just so exciting, “The fact that I can represent all the girls out there that have wanted to do this or thought about playing football or any sport really, and it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this, it’s awesome.”
Vanderbilt lost to Missouri 41-0 and Fuller was not needed for any extra points or penalty kicks, which shows the form Vanderbilt are in right now.
Fuller wore a special sticker on her helmet that read “play like a girl.”
Fuller went on to say aafter the game “All I want to do is be a good influence to the young girls out there because there were times I struggled in sports,” she said, “but I’m so thankful that I stuck with it, and it’s given me so many opportunities and I’ve met so many amazing people through sports, and I just want to say that literally you can do anything you set your mind to.”
Head Coach Derek Mason mentioned, “I think there was something bigger at work here,” Mason said. “I’ve always believed that women are capable of doing fantastic things. I know we think of football as being a man’s sport, and it is for the most part — 99.9% of it is dominated by males, if not close to 100. But today she broke some history, she made some history.”
Who knows if she will carry on after the 1st team players come back available, but Mason added “If she wants to kick and she’s available, we’d love to have her.”
After the game Mason was fired by the University for their poor start of the season being 0-8, so now we will not know if Fuller will continue, but she added, “I would love to get out there and score a field goal, I would love to go out there and get an extra point and everything,” she said.
“So I would be happy to if they’ll have me. I love the team. They are amazing. The entire staff has been so incredible in this transition, and I could not ask for a better team behind me to get me prepared. But, honestly, I’m having so much fun, and I want to learn more about how to kick and how to do things better because I think I really can refine it and get better from here.”
History was made. Well done Sarah.
Original article from ESPN.