VAN METER, Iowa — In the game of football, the kicker is usually the least talked about position, until it comes time to kick that game-winning field goal. That’s not the case when your team averages close to 50 points a game.
"I talk about four keys to every game, and one of them is winning special teams, that’s how important it is,” said Van Meter Head Coach Erik Trudo.
The Bulldogs are currently undefeated headed into the final two weeks of the regular season. Five of those wins have been shutouts.
"Every point counts, and we’ve certainly been in those types of games where every point has counted," Trudo added. "Whether it’s been ... won by one or lost by one."
Most of those extra points come by way of a first-year sophomore kicker and the school's second-ever female football player, Katie Lindsay. She showed up at spring meetings for the football team in 2021, looking to try a new sport, one dominated by high school boys.
"The first time I was definitely nervous, and I walked in behind a couple guys and said, 'Hey can you like check and make sure that I can come in?' and they were like 'Hey guys, Katie's coming in,” Lindsay said.
As for the kicking job, it was a competition all the way to the first game.
“It went all the way up to the first week of the season, first game week, and she was the most consistent at PATs, so she won the job,” Trudo told Local 5.
Speaking of consistency, Lindsey has made 36 of 38 PATs.
School life for Katie has remained mostly the same after breaking the news to friends that she was hitting the football field.
"I think they kind of thought I was crazy, and they did not take me seriously, but then I went to a couple of camps, and then they were like 'Oh wow,'" Lindsay recalled.
Those “Oh wows” came again, on Friday nights. In one game, she attempted 10 point-after tries, and made all of them. She now owns the school record for extra points made in a season.
Senior starting quarterback Jack Pettit has held the ball for every one of those attempts. From day one he knew she could hang with the boys.
"I could see those nerves because I’ve been through it, so I just said take a deep breath, relax, just trust yourself because she’s a good kicker,” he said.
Lindsay might not think she is breaking barriers at Van Meter, but she’s certainly carrying the torch in a boys-driven game.
"I don’t think of it as I’m the only girl. I think of it as I have my job, as long as I get to do it, and I can do it, it’s awesome,” she said.
The standout kicker does more than just kick in football. Once she’s done with football practice, she heads to the hardwood to practice with the junior varsity volleyball team.
And come springtime, she will start for the girls varsity soccer team.
Watch more Local 5 Sports stories on YouTube