OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs seventh grade football coach Ryan Lott is using summer-drills to get his young men in shape. Wait a minute, his young men and young women in shape.
If you look closely two 12-year-old girls are competing in hopes of cracking the roster...Sndney Johnson and A'Leigh Coleman.
"You be surprised at this age how much far advanced these girls are than some of the boys, "said Coach Lott. "I mean the two girls we've got right now are probably two of our better athletes we have out here."
When it came to conditioning drills Johnson and Coleman showed flawless ability in completing the exercises, while some of the boys had difficulty. And they didn't back off when it came to weight training.
So who influenced Coleman to give football a shot?
Coleman said, "My friend Leigh, she pretty much inspired me. I didn't even know that girls could play football until last year when she did it."
Johnson says her older brother played football and he too was a kicker and he showed her the correct technique in setting up for field goal attempts. Someone else also played a vital role in Sydney trying out for the football team.
"My mother actually pushed me to do it, "stated Johnson. "So, I'm really happy that she did because it turns out I'm pretty good at it."
She's very good. Sndney has a powerful leg and her technique is almost flawless. She says soccer propelled her to become a solid kicker.
Johnson said, "It really helps to power your leg because I've been kicking the ball for a long time."
Coleman shows promise but needs a little more practice on her technique.
"To get the football to go over the field goal you've got to kick under it, "said Coleman. "So, it makes it easier with the striking."
Coach Lott said, "They're definitely going to contribute to us and hopefully let us to be able to kick a little bit this year."
Girls are getting in their kicks on the 8th grade team and on the varsity.
Kaylee Foster won a 9th grade football game last season drilling a 37-yard field goal and she's now competing on the Greyhounds varsity football team. She's also excels in soccer and in track and field.