Kinston football player defying gender stereotypes to help team win

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — In Kinston, it’s an honor to be told you kick like a girl.

“You’re setting an example for people so you have to make sure that you’re doing your best at all times,” says Bailey Blake.

Blake is a sophomore at Kinston High School. She also serves as the Viking’s football kicker. Bailey says sometimes it’s hard playing a male-dominated sport.

“As soon as I get out there and see all those big guys, that’s all I feel is pressure,” explains Blake.

But under pressure is where Bailey seems to perform best.


“We didn’t put her on their (the team), she earned her spot,” says Kinston Head Football Coach Ryan Gieselman.

The sophomore has impressed at many games, both at home and away. Proving to the community that anything is possible.

“It shows people, like girls especially, that you can do anything that you set your mind to,” Blake says.

“If you want to do something and you put your mind to it, any body can do anything,” says Gieselman. “She’s out here proving people wrong every day.”

And if Blake’s football performance isn’t impressive enough, she is also an active member on the soccer team and the tennis team, on top of a demanding honors schedule. She says it’s all about balance.

“If you want to do a lot of stuff, you need to set times and make sure that you get everything done,” Blake says. “Don’t procrastinate.”

Blake says she’s not the first female kicker on the Kinston team and she certainly hopes she’s not the last.


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