HOWE — Kicker Calley Vick (5) earned herself a spot on the Howe Bulldogs at the beginning of the 2017 season, an accomplishment that reflects both Vick’s athletic ability and the City of Howe’s progressive thinking. Vick has established herself as a strong athlete, also representing the Bulldogs on the court as a basketball player.
Howe High School has welcomed what head coach Zack Hudson cites as the town’s first female player to make the varsity football team since he began leading it.
An all-around athlete, Vick started her football career with the Bulldogs as the team’s water girl, and it was not long before she noticed the team could use her skills as a kicker. Vick earned the first points of her football career in the first game of the season when the Bulldogs took on Gunter on Sept. 1.
“[Vick] plays select soccer and stuff like that and she told us ‘I think I can kick that football better than anybody you got’ and I said well let’s see,” said Hudson on the decision to let her play.
“She kicks it pretty darn well. So we went with it,” Hudson said, adding that the coaching staff has been supportive of the new kicker. While there are some accommodations that must be made for Vick, the coaching staff views her as an equal to her teammates.
“Of course you have to teach her a few things, things to protect her and stuff like that,” Hudson said.
Vick is a humble player whose thick skin and nerves of steel has served her kicking well in high-pressure game situations. One can tell the coaching staff takes pride in all of the Bulldog players, but Vick’s determination, focus and skill has earned the admiration and respect of a community that loves its football team.
“She gets in the game and she’s got ice running through her veins because it doesn’t bother her,” Hudson said. With the losses against Muenster and Gunter, Vick has not had many chances to score as many kicking points after the touchdown as she would like but the season is still early and the team is enthusiastic of the upcoming games.
“We went for two this past week so she only got one shot, it got blocked but it wasn’t her fault,” Hudson said. “But the game before against Bowie she had two extra points.”
Vick not only has the thick skin any football player needs but also the ability to perform under the bright Friday night lights which can intimidate anyone from a first year lineman to a senior quarterback.
“A lot of pressure on her and no problem, she did a good job,” Hudson said. Even though Vick has put her focus on the role as a player for the Bulldogs football team, the varsity kicker did not give up her role as the team water girl.
Vick, who also play basketball, is no newcomer to the sports programs.
“Everybody knows her and she’s always been around,” Hudson said, “it’s no big deal it really isn’t. We just make sure she has a different place to dress everywhere we go, and as long as that happens it’s no big deal. The other coaches understand so they try their hardest to make sure things are in place to make sure she’s separated at times when she needs to be separated but as far as when everyone is dressed she is with us.”
In 2017 it is not uncommon to see social norms challenged if not redefined completely. By the end of the season, Vick could blaze many more trails than just being the first female varsity player in Howe High School’s recent history and Hudson’s time as head coach. The varsity kicker will next make an appearance beneath the Friday night lights on Sept. 22 when Vick and the Bulldogs take on McKinney Christian Academy. Be sure to follow Vick and the rest of your favorite Howe athletes for all the latest news and scores online at www.VanAlstyneLeader.com/Sports