For many, 2020 was a year unlike any other. The “unprecedented times” brought new challenges and many “new norms”. From mask mandates to abbreviated and virtual school years; from sanitizer shortages to zoom meetings, so many novel concepts became standard practices. Many people faced difficulties they had never experienced before. But with these challenges came an abundance of time - time to spend with family, time to learn new skills, to take on new hobbies. “Trying something new” is exactly what Zoe Cormier decided to do with her newfound free time.
Zoe is a sophomore at Rochester High School, in Rochester, Illinois, and plays center back for the SLSG 2004 White ECNL Regional League program - coached by Dylan Gardner. About one year ago, when schools first went virtual and time seemed to come to a standstill, Zoe decided to try something new. Zoe decided to venture into the world of American Football, as a kicker. Her interest in kicking began when she came across an Instagram post by Carli Lloyd, where Lloyd shared her experience kicking at the Philadelphia Eagles NFL training facility. The video was enough to inspire Zoe to give the sport a try. Her father, Sean, was a kicker in his day as a football player and provided much insight and feedback during quarantine. The two spent many hours together, developing her form. And as it turns out, she was pretty good at it - finding success from over 40yds out.
After spending so much quality time with her father, Zoe had truly developed her skillset as a football kicker. So much so, that word of her skill reached one of the coaches at Rochester High School’s football program. When the 2020/21 football season came about this spring, Zoe tried out for the team. After earning her spot on the roster, Zoe made school history as the first female player to get on the scoreboard for the football program. With 3 PATs, in her debut, Zoe helped the Rochester Rockets defeat Jacksonville High School by a score of 39-14. A week later, Zoe earned 8 points for the Rockets, going 8/10 on her PATs against Springfield High School, with Rochester winning 68-34.
Now, with a few games under her belt, Zoe has had time to reflect on the experience. “It’s definitely been uncomfortable and awkward at times, but overall, it’s been an awesome experience so far and I’m really glad I decided to do it…The boys have been super awesome and welcoming and made it 100x easier to adjust to everything. The best part about it for me is being able to inspire a bunch of young girls to step outside of their comfort zones, and just do what they want to do. I didn’t realize how much this meant to other people until this girl came up to me after my first game and told me that seeing me out on the field was inspiring not just for her, but girls like her that want to do things that aren’t considered “normal”.
St. Louis Scott Gallagher is extremely proud of Zoe for her courage and positive influence both on and off the field. We look forward to seeing your bright future continuing to flourish. Best of luck on the rest of your football season, Zoe!