Ladycat on the field

Glenn High School freshman Elisabeth Dykes was asked to fulfill a pressing need for the Bobcat varsity football team. She has excelled at it, and is very much enjoying it.
“My brother (Hayden Dykes) does film for the team and he knew I could kick, so he got me into it,” Dykes said.
Having a reliable kicker has been an issue in recent years for the Bobcats. Dykes has been reliable on kickoffs and extra points this season. She made all five of her extra points in Friday’s win over East Forsyth and made six extra points in Glenn’s win over Davie County.
“She has done a great job for us,” said Bobcat Head Coach Antwon Stevenson. “It is my sixth year as head coach, and she has been the best that we have had.”
Being the only female on the team has been an adjustment for Dykes, but she has enjoyed it and the players are glad to have her on the team.
“They treat me amazingly. Honestly, it is like I am their little sister. If something goes wrong, they are right on it,” said Dykes.
Having the first female on the varsity squad has been easier than Stevenson thought.
“It has been a lot easier than I thought. Part of that is we have not used locker rooms and all that. With the uniforms, I just pass them out the day before the game so all the kids are already dressed. She has adapted and all of them have adapted,” Stevenson said.
Dykes is also the starting goalie for the Ladycat varsity soccer team and has played soccer for 11 years. She currently also plays on the Piedmont Triad Football Club (PTFC) U-17 team.
Dykes has adapted quickly during her first year of playing football, but there is one thing she has been told not to do.
“I would remove her from the team if she tried to tackle anybody. When she kicks off, she runs directly to the sideline,” said Stevenson.
Dykes is fine with the “no tackling” directive.
“They usually just tell me which player to kick it to on the kickoffs and I just try to kick it to them. He (Stevenson) didn’t tell me not to attempt to tackle until midway through the first game. I said, ‘I will get off the field, it is no big deal,’” Dykes said. “I didn’t get hit in the first game, thank goodness. There are some pretty big guys out there.”
Obviously, Dykes had to get her parents’ (Laura and Robert Dykes) permission to play football, and while they had some questions, they were all in.
“At first they said, ‘How will this work with soccer and football?’ But they think it is really cool. You don’t see many girls playing football, and they are all for it,” said Dykes.
Laura has enjoyed seeing Dykes on the Glenn varsity football team.
“I was kind of surprised when she said she wanted to play football. She has the ability. They asked her to try out and we were not going to stand in her way. It has been good, and we have been watching the games,” Laura said. “Overall, she is lucky to have the opportunity, and I want her to take advantage of the opportunities she has. If that inspires someone else, then more power to them.”
As Glenn won the Central Piedmont 4-A (CP 4-A) conference and is hosting a Class 4-A playoff game against Butler on Friday at 7 p.m., Dykes has at least one more game to play this season. She is hoping to continue being the kicker for the Bobcats for the next three seasons, and possibly kick in college.
“That (playing all four years) is the plan. Of course, there might be some competition to get that spot, but I want to kick all four years,” said Dykes. “I definitely would kick in college. I mean, who wouldn’t if they had it for free school.”
As a freshman, Dykes has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do later on. Right now, she is strongly considering law enforcement.
“I want to go into law enforcement because they are sometimes portrayed as bad people, and I know a whole lot of people want to do good,” Dykes said.

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