Kickin’ it with Kells
Red Oak junior Kyndal Kells is taking a big step this season: she joined the Tigers football team.
“I played flag football when I was in elementary when I lived in Vegas,” Kells explained. “We moved here when I was in seventh grade. I love football, and I love soccer. I always wanted to go out for football.”
So when Tigers head football coach Ryan Gelber approached Kells during basketball season, she began to give it some serious thought.
“Coach asked some of us girls who played basketball and the others didn’t want to,” Kells said. “I always wanted to go out, I was just afraid to put myself out there. I wasn’t sure how the guys would take it. But they really support me. There is a lot of support from everybody.”
Her parents, Mark and Ginny Kells, wanted her to go out last year, so it was no surprise when she decided to take that step this season.
“My dad said, ‘Finally,’” Kells said.
Kells got her first start in the season opener last Friday, where she successfully kicked three PATs, and had 130 yards in kick offs.
“We had a lot of preparation during practice for this game,” Kells said. “Intense practices. You’ve got to do your 1-11, your job.”
Kells admitted she was anxious before the game.
“I was a little nervous at the beginning of the game, but Coach Crouse talked to me and said to just go out there and play your hardest. He said, ‘You’ve got a whole team behind you.’ It was a little nerve-racking, but I felt better after the first kick.”
She plays football because she loves football and knew the team needed a kicker.
“I play soccer and have since the first grade. I thought maybe my kicking skills could help the team,” Kells said. “My dad had me kicking when we first moved here because he wanted to see what I could do. I practiced kicking before the season started, and it was good.”
Kells grew up with a lot of uncles and enjoyed playing football with her Uncle Ricky when she was younger.
Kyndal praises the coaching staff of the Tigers football team and says they really care about each player.
“They take care of their players, and they support all of us,” Kells said. “They were very proud of us last night [Friday].”
Although Kyndal loves football, she is passionate about soccer. Although the kicking techniques are different for each sport, Kells is determined to work on both types of kicking for the future.
“I admire Abby Wambach, a member of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She has determination, and she doesn’t give up. I’ve always wanted to play soccer with the U.S. women’s team, and I’ve always looked up to her.”
Kyndal hopes to play soccer in college and is excited about the Red Oak School district for adding soccer to the spring schedule this upcoming spring.
As Tiger fans, we can kick back on Friday nights and watch her on the football field during the fall.
And in the spring, maybe we can watch her soccer skills take over the field.