Boonville’s first female football player really kicks it

Every year at Boonville High School, students try their best to get their picture and name on the cafeteria walls. Finding a place on the wall means that you will be remembered for something you did in high school, like becoming a class president or spearheading an organization. But for Bailey Pfeiffer, a place on the wall came when she became the first female athlete to play on the football team this fall.

Pfeiffer grew up with two older athletic siblings who encouraged her to take up sports in high school. She has played soccer, basketball and football since she was 8 years old, but her main focus is volleyball. Following in her older sister Bethany’s footsteps, Pfeiffer went out on the courts and made the volleyball varsity team each year.

“My sister and I are really tight,” Pfeiffer said. “Her playing volleyball in high school was what really made me pick it for my sport.”

Along with the volleyball team, Pfeiffer is an all-around student with an active social life. Aside from her involvement on both the volleyball and football teams, she also ran against her best friend, Sawyer Quinlan, for Homecoming Queen this year.

Pfeiffer and Quinlan have been a pair of inseparable friends since the first grade and enjoy doing everything together. One might think being pitted against each other for Homecoming Queen could stir some competitive feelings, but neither girl let the race have an impact on their relationship. When it came down to it, Pfeiffer cheered just as hard, if not the hardest, for Quinlan when she accepted her tiara as the Homecoming Queen.

“Running against her for queen was fun,” Sawyer said. “We didn’t care who won. It was just fun to be in all the activities together.”

Pfeiffer’s activities aren’t strictly in athletics; she is focused on her academics.  Her teachers all agree that she is a tremendous student who has matured and developed good habits over the past three years. She is uncertain whether or not she will attend college next year, but is planning on pursuing a career in radiology.

It’s easy to see Pfeiffer’s dedication to all of her involvements. Even watching her at volleyball practice, she strikes the ball to the ground with passion and sets balls for the younger teammates. She takes the time to call out tips and pointers while setting.

She may be serious when it comes to playing volleyball, but Pfeiffer was just having fun when he started practicing with the football team.  She did a little bit of kicking last year and at the beginning of this season; however, no one would have predicted that this was going to land her a spot on the team. After Liam Lobeler, the starting kicker, tore his MCL during the second game of the season, Pfeiffer was asked to step in.

“Bailey has done a great job with every aspect of playing football,” Joe Henke, a social studies teacher and football coach said. “She is a very competitive individual and has risen to the occasion.”

Setting a goal to never miss a kick, Pfeiffer sets tough expectations for herself, but handles them well.  She has had a very successful kicking season for the Boonville Pirates and has enjoyed having fun with the team.  Having been friends with most of these players since they were young, it hasn’t been difficult for her to step into the role of teammate.

“She has really grown with the team,” Henke said. “The only difference is that she gets dressed in the women’s locker room.”

Although having a girl on the football team has been an anomaly, Pfieffer is ready to finish high school and start the next chapter of her life.

“I really enjoy kicking for the football team,” she said. “It’s totally different than anything else I’ve ever done and isn’t an experience I will forget.”

Photos and story by Paige Davis
Corner Post Staff Writer