Ripley High School's first female football kicker nominated for and wins Miss Viking

Katelyn Waltemyer
Jackson Newspapers
Katy Lawrence smiles moments before she's crowned Miss Viking 2021.

RIPLEY — When Katy Lawrence walks through the halls of Ripley High School she often hears people whispering about her. 

"She's the kicker for the football team." 

As a soccer player, she would always take her team's free kicks because of how far she'd send the ball. She had wanted to try kicking a football for years, and she finally decided to try it junior year. 

Lawrence had never kicked a football until the first day of tryouts. Between football and soccer, Lawrence kicks every day. 

This is Lawrence's second year on the football team. She broke societal norms once, and she figured why not do it again. She and her boyfriend, who is also on the football team, were nominated to the homecoming court as a joke of course. Because who would accept the award in a football uniform? 

As they stood on the field in their uniforms next to their peers dressed in semiformal attire, Lawrence was oblivious when her name was called. 

"It just took me a little bit because I just kept looking around, and then I realized they said my name, and I was like, 'Oh, wow,'" she said. 

She was so nervous when she first tried out for the football team, but she's never been more out of her comfort zone than when she was crowned Ripley's Miss Viking. 

Lawrence is Ripley's first-ever female kicker, and she made her first field goal on Sept. 10. 

— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at kwaltemyer@jacksonnewspapers.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.