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Lady Longhorn gets kicks on the football field

In 2019 Jenna Horner kicked her way into Johnson County history as the first female to score in a football game with this field goal against North Greene High School in Baileyton. File photos

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

When it comes to getting her kicks in athletics, one Lady Longhorn softball player does it on the football field. Senior placekicker Jenna Horner took part in a kicking camp this past week in Knoxville, working with former Tennessee kicker Alex Hale on her distance and accuracy. Horner stated she had a lot of success on her kicks, with her longest field goal being from 35 yards out.

She hopes to have a lot more success in 2020 after kicking one through the uprights against North Greene last year.

“We kicked balls all day long at the camp, and I have a lot more confidence now than I did last year,” said Horner. “I honestly believe that I could make one longer than 35 yards if I keep working hard and improving. I worked on keeping my head down, which is critical for a kicker. That what I need to work on most right now.”

Horner feels that her leg strength is much greater now than it was last year.”I’m ready to get started and show everyone what I can do.”

Horner said she fears the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and does a lot of preventive measures.

“Our coaches tell us what we need to do when we are at practice to prevent it,” said Horner. “I especially listen because I already didn’t get to have a softball season because of this stuff last spring. I wish it would just go away. It would crush all of us if we didn’t get to have a football season. I don’t want to have to give up anything else sports-wise.”

Horner doesn’t plan on kickoff this year but said she is up to the task if needed.

“I’m not afraid to tackle someone,” Horner said. “I love playing football ever since watching my brother play.”

Horner thanked her coach Matt Bray for giving her the confidence she needed to play. My other coaches encourage me, but what he told me stands out. He’s a good coach, and he’s always encouraging me,” said Horner. “He knows what he’s talk about.”

She also gave credit to her holder Stacey Greer and snapper Ethan Icenhour. “They make it happen,” she said.

She thinks her team could have a special year in 2020 if they get to play.

“I believe that we can have a special team,” said Honer. “The type of team that could win another conference championship if we continue to work hard, improve, and give it our all.”

Jenna thanks her teammates, whom she said are the greatest.

“They make it good for me, and they’re always encouraging. I feel fortunate to play football with such a great group of guys, and I’m also looking forward to softball this year.”

Jenna is the daughter of Chris and Renee Horner.