FOOTBALL: Viney kicks her way into the record book, aids Marine City's race to a title to cap memorable season |
DETROIT – Every football coach knows the importance of having a reliable kicker on their roster.
Marine City head coach Ron Glodich had just that in 2013.
Junior placekicker Olivia Viney made sure Glodich and his Mariners were in good hands all year long, helping anchor the squad's special teams unit by proving a calming presence
Viney was cool, calm and collected as could be once again on Friday night in Marine City's 49-35 win over defending champ Grand Rapids South Christian in the Division 4 state finals at Ford Field
She became the first female player to ever record a point in an MHSAA football state championship game, booting an extra point with 10:28 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7.
Her exploits weren't over, as she went on to kick six more extra points for the Mariners, tying an MHSAA finals record for most PAT’s in the state finals.
In the wake of state-title win and her record-breaking day, Viney admitted the accomplishment meant lot to her.
“It means so much,” she said. “I didn’t really fathom how great that was until a couple of days after people told me that I was going to be the first girl. Then I thought of all the divisions and all the years, how amazing that really is. It’s such an honor to hold that honor and for people to remember me as the first girl to do that in a state championship game. This season was just more than what I could have ever have asked it to be.”
When asked about his standout kicker, Glodich was fast to applaud her reliability.
“We don’t worry about it,” he said. “It’s nice to have a kicker that you don’t worry about. A lot of times, your kickers are flaky, but Olivia is such a strong girl that you would never label her that way, she’s just a very solid, focused young lady.”
Starting playing football last season as a sophomore, Viney kicked for the Marine City junior varsity squad in 2012.
One of the people she credits with getting her out on the gridiron was her brother Tyler, a Marine City alum and former Mariners kicker himself.
Before going out for football last fall, Viney had been solely a soccer player, a skill-set she attributes to the smooth transition to her new sport.
From the very beginning, she's been welcomed into the fold by her teammates and made to immediately feel like a part of the family.
"They don’t treat me like I’m any different from them,” she said. “They don’t treat me like I’m a girl on the team, from day one, they’ve totally accepted me and brought me under their wing and they treat me like one of the guys. They give me high fives and they just bring me into a part of the team, nobody gets weird about a girl being on the team.”
Glodich agreed with Viney's assessment.
“To be honest, it’s to the point where we don’t think of her as a girl,” he said. “We think of her as our kicker and our kicker did a great job tonight and it’s kudos to her that she’s able to compete on this stage.”
Next season, Viney will return to once again give the Mariners a consistent presence in the kicking game.
No matter what happens in the future though, she'll always hold the 2013 campaign close to her heart.
“This season has just been so much more than what I ever could have thought,” she said. “I thought that being on varsity, it was going to be fun with the fans and our band, but coming out here and playing on Ford Field and playing on the same field as the Lions and winning a state championship ring, it’s the best feeling, it’s amazing.”Tweet