HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The Hattiesburg football team lost in the 5A State Championship game Saturday to West Point 41-15.
It’s easy to overlook those 15 points and assume nothing really happened.
However, some history was made by their kicker.
Sophomore Kendyl Terrell had already had a monster season.
She made 61 extra points and was 1st team All-Region. In Saturday’s game against West Point, she Terrell became the first female in state history to score a point in championship football game.
“After I made the extra point I just felt like, oh, it’s just another extra point no biggie, but then I just
started getting hugs out of nowhere,” Terrell said. “I was like, did I do something that was just spectacular or something?”
What she did was become the first female to ever score a point in an MHSAA State Championship game.
In the midst of the excitement, Kendyl was playing with a heavy heart. Her father passed away unexpectedly just days before the game.
“I was having second thoughts because of the day when my dad passed I didn’t want to think about anything else but him,” Terrell said. “It was hard but I also didn’t want to stop doing anything. I told my sister we’ve got to keep going. He wouldn’t want us to just stop out of nowhere.”
Her head coach, Tony Vance, recalls the kick.
“Just an emotional moment for me as a head coach,” he said. “To watch her make the extra point and see the joy and see the smiles on her face and knowing that hey, that was for dad.
“Under those circumstances to go out there and put it right up through the uprights. Certainly for her something she will never forget. For me as a head coach something I’ll never forget, also.”
After building up the courage to compete with her teammates on the field is where Terrell says she found on unexplainable joy.
“Out of nowhere I got this just happiness and I just could not stop smiling wherever I went I was just
saying hey to anybody that was coming past,” she said. “I just kept asking myself ‘why am I so happy?’ But then I thought about it. I just felt my dad all around me and I was like, he is here watching me. I bet he is cheering me on right now and then it was just like an excitement overload.”