Monday, August 27, 2018

“The Female Kicker”

“The Female Kicker”
Copyright Susan Brubaker Knapp 2018
24" x 72"
“The Female Kicker,” is a portrait of my daughter Julia, who is a real inspiration to me. She played high school soccer and basketball, and in her senior year, she kicked for the football team, hitting seven of her 10 field goal attempts and 46 of 48 PATs – making her the first girl to score a point for her school's football team. She was named All-County kicker and her high school's Athlete of the Year. Her fellow students also voted her Homecoming Queen the same night she was named Offensive Player of the Game.

We had worried that the boys or the coaches would not welcome a girl, but she was treated just like any other player. It turned out to be a wonderful experience for her. I was unprepared for the response from fans, parents and her friends. Women approached me in the stands at games with tears in their eyes, and several told me that they had wanted to play when they were children, but were denied. Little girls – and boys – came up to her on the field after games, asking for photos and autographs. Her friends rallied around her and supported her efforts. 

The name for this piece comes from a guy who frequented online high school football message boards and always referred to Julia as “the female kicker.”

Here's a shot of her with the piece in progress: