DANVILLE (WCIA) — Kedzie Griffin’s job is simple, but with every kick that goes through the uprights, she’s breaking boundaries.
“I don’t think it’s that crazy when I’m doing it,” says Griffin. “But when people start texting me afterwards, it’s like wow this really is life changing–it’s changing the narrative.”
The longtime soccer player is the Vikings starting kicker this season. It’s always something she thought about doing, but it conflicted with her tennis season in the fall. So when football got moved in the spring, she decided to try out for the team.
“I said ‘shoot if she can kick, I don’t care.’ We just want people to help us win, I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, doesn’t make any difference to me,” says interim head coach Mitch Thomas.
Expectations were already sky-high for the junior, who follows in the footsteps of her older brother Caleb, who now plays for the Illini. When he was in high school, Kedzie would often tag along when he went to practice kicking.
“We messed around and kicked a few times, but she was never too serious about it,” says Caleb. “But she looked good, she’s a natural, she’s been watching for a while so she knew the gist of it, and she was good from the start.”
Kedzie struggled early in the season missing all her attempts in the first game, but in week two, she bounced back, kicking her first extra point in a win against Centennial.
“That’s a feeling I never want to forget, it’s probably the happiest I’ve ever been,” says Kedzie.
“That’s stronger than anything I’ve ever done in my life, like she’s the only girl on the field, and so the fact that she’s out there doing it–I couldn’t be more proud of her,” says Caleb.
Kedzie is just the second girl in program history to be the starting kicker for Vikings–and she hopes there are more to come. She says, “I do think there’s been people that are inspired by me.”