Kaukauna’s Ava Mau kicking her way through barriers in football
KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - High school football is predominantly a boys sport, but a Kaukauna girl is breaking the trend.
Instead of watching from the bleachers, Ava Mau, a sophomore at Kaukauna High School, is right in the middle of the action as the starting kicker for the school’s junior varsity football team. She also suits up for the varsity squad.
“They treat me like one of the, part of the family, like we all are, cause it’s one of our main values,” Ava said.
Ava played soccer most of her life, and tried out for the football team as a kicker last year as a freshman without ever playing football before.
“I started in soccer when I was like 3, and then it just, it came naturally but there was definitely a learning curve,” said Ava.
Kaukauna’s dedicated kicking coach, David Peterson, says he worked with Ava in the winter prior to her freshman year.
“I know her freshman season she had 22 points, now she’s, and then she did JV with that year also. Now, this year she’s the JV kicker, and she’s constantly improving,” said coach Peterson.
Kaukauna has had one or two female football players in the past, but Ava was the first one to ever score.
“She’s very motivated, hard worker, totally a lot of support from the team. I mean, I think it was her second game, JV game, she made a tackle on a kickoff and the sidelines just erupted and ever since that they’ve, you know really, she’s been a part of the team,” Peterson said.
Ava has left her mark on the program since joining last year as a freshman, and hope other girls will be inspired to follow suit and suit up.
“Being able to tackle somebody every once in awhile is really fun,” said Ava.
Besides Ava, linebacker Isabel Beyer plays on the junior varsity team just down the road at Fox Valley Lutheran High School, the school’s first female football player.
Just as number 13 is a force to reckoned with, so are many other girls who are paving the way in football throughout the state.
“We played Appleton North a couple weeks ago and they were like ‘oh my gosh it’s a girl,’ and then we played Fond du Lac and it’s like ‘oh, it’s great to see another girl out here,’” Ava said.
Kaukauna’s varsity team plays at Appleton East at 7 o’clock Friday night.
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