In the rain across the practice field, Thomas County Central's kicker quietly continues to make history.
And that's just the way she wants it.
"I didn't really want to worry about it. I just wanted to work hard and see if I could do the job," Lauren Pearson admits.
Turns out, she could.
Pearson became the first female ever to play football for the Yellow Jackets this season. It wasn't long before she earned the respect of her teammates.
"She was out here all summer long when a lot of kickers don't do that," head coach Bill Shaver says. "She's running all the sprints with us. She's doing all the weight lifting with us. She got in there and did tackling drills."
"I think it helped me bond with them, since we're all out here suffering," Pearson says. "It brought us closer."
Pearson's field goal Friday night helped the Jackets hold off an upset bid from Thomasville.
While it's all working out now, Shaver admits he was at first a little apprehensive of Pearson joining the Jackets.
"I said, 'Oh no. We don't need this.' You think about all the logistics of it. But then we lost a kicker and you could see how well she could kick," Shaver laughs. "The good Lord knows the best things, and we're just glad she stuck it out."
With history made, Pearson simply wants to kick. The senior says just a one year thing, but she also knows this one season can do a lot for young girls throughout south Georgia.
"If they want to go for it, they can try at least," Pearson says. "That's what I did: I tried."
The Jackets are 2-0 after their win over Thomasville Friday night. Pearson and TCC travel to Cairo Friday night to battle the Syrupmakers.
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