PINCKNEY, Mich. -- Shortly after being named homecoming queen, a Michigan girl gave her fellow high school students another big reason to cheer: Brianna Amat kicked the field goal that proved to be the difference as Pinckney Community High School beat Grand Blanc 9-7 on Friday.
The 31-yard field goal gave the Pirates a 9-0 lead in the third quarter.
Amat told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell (http://bit.ly/o43LyA) that after the soccer season ended last school year she gave field goal kicking a try at the urging of the school's coaches. She has been playing soccer since age 3 but hadn't played football or paid much attention to that sport.
"In the beginning, I thought it was kind of a joke. I didn't think they were actually going to let me do it," Amat said.
Shortly before her crucial kick Friday, Amat rode in Pinckney's homecoming parade while wearing her football uniform. On Saturday morning, Amat was inside the commons area of Pinckney high school, leading the effort to decorate the school in preparation for the school's homecoming dance.
Pinckney football coach Dan Burkholder said he had asked Amat to try out after the school's soccer coach told him about her.
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"I was going to have her kick an extra point," Burkholder recalled, "and I pulled out a tee and she said, ‘What's that?' "
Now that she's doing it, Amat studies kickers.
"It's just something I do, and I'm so glad I got a chance to do it," she said. "It's something I'm never going to be able to redo in my lifetime."
Amat credits her teammates for helping her kick, especially the two players who snap and hold the ball for her.
"Everyone told me I could do it, take it easy," Amat said, "...and them having that confidence in me gave me confidence in myself."