‘I just wanna kick’: football star Mesquite joins football team | Sports


Football is historically a men’s sport, but in recent years young women have joined boys on the pitch. One of these young women is Tegan Keil.

Since she was little, Keil has been an avid soccer player, swimmer and track athlete, but wanted to add another sport to her list. She had seen dozens of videos of different female soccer players across the country. When she saw the video of Vanderbilt football player Sarah Fuller stepping in as a kicker, the idea sprouted in Keil’s head to do the same and become a kicker.

According to Keil, it all started as a joke, then she received her first ball and tee for Christmas in 2020. Then she went out to a park near her home and started practicing kicking. . After that day, Keil knew that becoming a kicker was no longer a joke but something serious that she wanted to pursue.

Keil officially joined the Mesquite varsity team in second year in July. She worked hard in training and was determined to push her kicks further and further.

“She is a dedicated player who works hard on her art every day,” said Mesquite head coach Scott Hare.

However, being a kicker, practices were generally far from the rest of the squad.

“At first it was really hard for me, I bit half of my nails because of the stress,” Keil said. “Then I started talking to the guys, and now in the last game they were the most supportive people I’ve ever seen. I know they support me and I feel like I have 50 older brothers. “

The 50 older brothers mentioned welcomed Keil with open arms.

“She’s a hard worker and she doesn’t draw any attention to herself and just wants to be part of the team, so she has earned a lot of respect from me for the way she behaves,” said the Captain Andrew Morris.

Keil made his first start in Mesquite’s game against Gilbert on September 10, performing his two kicks. Keil spoke of the difference between being on the pitch as something that “couldn’t be described unless you’re there, padded, ready to go right then.”

Unfortunately, during Mesquite’s match against Combs on September 17, Keil was tackled after the snap and found his leg trapped under a Combs player. An MRI on Tuesday confirmed she had an ACL and MCL tear in her left knee.

“Right now, since the future of my game is unknown, I like to keep a positive mindset,” Keil said. “I’m not going to see this as a setback, just an opportunity to grow in other aspects of my athletic ability.”

She is confident that despite her injury, the love and support she feels from her teammates will remain.

“I know that even though I’m not on the pitch with my boys we will all support each other and that is one of the best feelings,” she said. “It’s hard to fall like this right now, but my recovery will be one for the pounds and I’ll come back and snatch the biggest basket I got.”