Challenging gender roles in football; Chloe Olson is recruited to be new kicker


Ernest Sutton

Being on the football team has been rewarding for Olson, and she feels like she has made people think about gender roles in sports. “One of the fun things is sometimes when I come off the field and I take my helmet off and I’m walking out, some girls will say ‘oh my god are you on the football team?!’. It’s awesome to see them be like ‘that’s so cool’,” said Olson.

Guille Bastian McClain, Staff Writer

This fall season, junior and captain of the women’s soccer team, Chloe Olson was persuaded into being the kicker for the football team. She was the only girl on the team and has turned a lot of heads. She was already in her committed to her position as goalie of the varsity women’s soccer team when she decided she would kick for the football team. 

Olson was new to the team and that the rest of the team was unaware that there would be a new player added part way into the season. Despite this, the team was welcoming and excited to have a new member on the team. “I think [having a girl kicker] is really cool and eye opening to the sport,” said junior, Daniel Avre who plays quarterback for the football team. Avre also said that he and the team feel that she has changed the team positively. “She brings a lot more excitement in the games because there’s not much to be excited about.” 

Olson was happy she joined the team even though she had never planned on joining the team. “I didn’t actually really decide, well I did but I was never intending to play for football. I had just stayed after [school] to practice extra for soccer and some other girl had wanted to try kicking for football. Long story short one of the football coaches, Earnest walked up [to me] and asked me if I was the girl that wanted to try out for football and I said ‘absolutely not’. Then he asked me if I wanted to try it out for fun so I did it and I wasn’t terrible at it because it was just like kicking a weirdly shaped soccer ball,” said Olson. After this experience, the coach asked her if she would play for them and after a lot of contemplation, she agreed.

Even though Olson had not planned on being kicker, she overall had a good experience and plans to play for them next year. “I just think it’s cool to kind of break the norms… the guys were very nice to me, there was no time where I felt like I wasn’t a part of [the team] and I’m for sure going to play for them next year.”

Many people only knew Olson as a soccer player, so when her teammates on the soccer team heard about her being recruited for the football team, there was a lot of excitement going around. “Everyone was so excited for her,” said sophomore, Stella Hopper-Gramenz, one of Olson’s teammates on the soccer team. Many members of the team attended one of the football games to support Olson’s position as kicker. “We were super pumped and we were all cheering her on [at the game],” added Hopper-Gramenz.

Olson broke norms regarding football and inspired others to think differently about gender roles in sports and their position in sports at South. “Having her on the [football team] has made other girls think maybe they can do it too,” said Hopper-Gramenz.