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Queen is a kick with teammates, classmates
BY LINDLEY ESTES
During the first half of King George High School’s homecoming game Oct. 5, the team’s kickers nailed three out of four attempts.
In the second half, five out of six kicks sailed through the goalposts.
And during halftime, one of the kickers was crowned homecoming queen.
Armentrout was crowned alongside teammate Alon Clipper, who won homecoming king. They were the first homecoming couple to be crowned in the school’s newly constructed football stadium, which opened in September.
This is Armentrout’s first year on the football team. She’d played nearly every other sport and said she just wanted to try something new.
The senior is currently competing in football and cross country. In the winter she will run track, as well as in the spring when she’ll also play soccer.
Football coach Jeff Smith said he’s not sure if the team has ever before had a girl on its roster. But in 19 years of coaching, he couldn’t recall any.
Smith said Armentrout is like every other player on the field and that there’s mutual respect among all the team’s athletes.
“I’ve tried to instill a family atmosphere on the team,” he said. “It doesn’t matter of you’re a boy or girl or black or white or green. We’re all in this together.”
In addition to her efforts during the team’s after-school drills, Smith said Armentrout will often kick 30 to 40 balls in a row to practice her technique on the weekends.
“That’s work,” he said. “She and our other kicker [Eian Chase], they kick until their feet drop off.”
The hard work has paid off. Armentrout’s record is 18–26 in overall kicks. And King George was 5–2 on the season before Friday night’s game against Caroline.
Smith said it’s been nice to have a packed stadium at each of its home games.
“It’s a small-town feeling, like you see on TV,” he said.
King George suffered what Smith called a “heartbreaking” loss against James Monroe High School the week before homecoming. That made the team’s 59–0 homecoming victory against Spotsylvania High—as well as Armentrout’s crowning—all the sweeter, he said.
“They came back,” he said. “They won. She won.”
Armentrout said being on the team has been a good experience. As senior night and the end of football season approaches, Armentrout said she’ll miss the camaraderie she’s enjoyed with her football teammates.
“When I stepped on the field,” she said, “I didn’t think I was going to be having so much fun.”
Though she is currently involved in a number of sports, Armentrout said she does not plan on continuing athletics in college.
“I want to go to Virginia Tech for engineering,” she said. “I think that’s going to be hard enough.”
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976