Female high school player at Pineville makes history

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT|Updated: 19 hours ago
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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Jackson Bridges is a star athlete at Pineville High School excelling on the soccer and volleyball team, but she’s always had the dream of taking her talents to the football field.

“When I came to high school going to the football games, I was like I could be out there doing that,” said Bridges.

Bridges turned her dreams into a reality after Bryant Bell was named the new head coach for Pineville earlier this year.

“On the second day of the job, she walked through my office door and said she wanted to play football,” said Coach Bell. “It was kind of a shock to me, but I made some conditions that she will be treated with the same standard that everyone else was on the team. She’s going to earn everything she has.”

Bridges certainly earned her spot during fall practice by becoming Pineville’s starting kicker. She made history for the Rebels by being the first girl in school history to score in a game. In Pineville’s Week 2 game against Menard, Bridges was a perfect 4-4 on extra points.

“I was nervous, but after a while, I’ve gotten used to it,” said Bridges. “It’s gotten easier to block out all the noise and just get on the field, find the ball and kick it through the uprights.”

Her success on the field has led her to be a local celebrity off the field while inspiring others to be just like her.

“I’ve had a lot of people when I go out in public ask me if I’m the kicker,” said Bridges. “They say, ‘I look up to you, and I can’t believe you’re doing this.’ I couldn’t do it without their support.”

Coach Bell said he’s thankful to have Bridges on the team, because she sets the example of what every player should be like.

“She exemplifies all the people I want to be around,” said Coach Bell. “My son is a water boy on the team, and he’s seven years old. She’s someone I want him to be around.”

Bridges hopes to continue sports in college, no matter what sport she decides to choose while also studying marine biology.

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