SEARCY, Ark. – One kick after another, Searcy’s newest football player gears up for a night under the lights.
“It’s probably a bigger deal to people on the outside than it is the actual team,” Searcy head football coach Zak Clark explained. “She’s part of the team.”
Known as a star soccer player, senior Sara Daniel is turning heads on a new field this season as the Lions’ newest varsity kicker.
“I was kind of shocked, but I just kind of went for it,” Daniel said.
The tri-sport athlete said she was originally approached by the football coaches last year after their kicker quit. Bart McFarland, who coached Sara on the soccer field and coached wide receivers for the football team, knew the rising senior would be the perfect fit.
“If there’s one person that can do it, it’s Sara,” McFarland said.
“I went out and kicked a little bit, and I guess they liked what they saw,” Daniel recalled.
The soccer cleats got packed away to make room for a helmet and pads.
“I was honestly a nervous wreck,” Daniel said.
Once the clock started though, the kicker did what she does best, scoring two field goals in her first game.
“She excels at everything she does, but more importantly, she’s a better person then anything else,” McFarland said.
In addition to her success on the field, Daniel was also honored at homecoming this past weekend. She is also on the swim team and soccer team, and she had previously played basketball and run cross country at the school.
The Searcy coaches said having a female player is a first, but certainly won’t be the last, hoping Daniel’s number becomes a symbol for the future.
For her part, the senior athlete says the biggest step is the first one, but she advises it is a step worth taking.
“Just go for it,” said Daniel. “If you want to do it, do it.”