In a year in which kickers are going to be getting a lot of attention in the FCIAC, one of the more unusual stories is coming out of New Canaan. Looking for a reliable kicker both for this year and beyond, coach Lou Marinelli plucked Brianna Valente out of gym class and helped convince her to make the jump from the school’s girls soccer program to becoming the first female kicker on the Rams’ football team.
Valente made her debut last week and scored her first career point with a conversion in a win over Bassick.
What makes this story even more interesting is Valente was not a big football fan or an activist looking to make a statement. Valente admits she is not a big fan of the sport, but instead possessed the self-confidence to try something different.
And as anyone who knows Marinelli can attest, this is hardly a publicity stunt. He is looking for one of his kickers to show consistency and step up to win the job. And he said Valente will be given every chance to be that person.
I caught up with Valente before the Rams’ practice on Thursday, when she told me about her jump from soccer to football player.