Dacula Soccer

Saturday, October 31, 2009
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Hebron Christian needed a kicker and head coach Brian Smith started asking who the school’s best soccer player was.
Everyone said the same thing.
Jordan Lowery.
It didn’t really occur to Smith that Jordan could be a girl’s name.
“Finally somebody said, ‘She’s a girl,’” Smith said.
“I said OK.”
After the Lions’ season-opening 26-20 loss to Temple included three missed field goals and a missed PAT, Smith knew an improvement was necessary. So he went recruiting.
“And she’s made us better,” said Smith, who took over a Hebron program in just its second season this year. “There’s no question.”
Lowery, a freshman at the small private school in Dacula, is 14 of 15 on PATs and has a 24-yard field goal to her credit as well. The Lions are 6-2 with two more games to play in their final non-region season.
“She’s great,” Smith said. “She’s a tough kid. She’s very athletic and just savvy about the way she carries herself and plays the game. Even on bad snaps, she’s been able to adjust and still kick them through.”
Lowery’s holder, junior quarterback Paul Stinespring, held himself accountable for her one missed PAT.
“He said, ‘I shouldn’t have tried to put it on the tee, I didn’t get it on the tee,’” Smith said. “He took the blame.
“I told her it was good she went ahead and missed one and got it out of the way.”
Lowery’s been perfect since and her success makes any accommodations a small price to pay.
The Lions don’t actually have locker rooms – the team dresses in the boys bathroom – so that’s not an issue and Lowery waits a bit before going into the away locker rooms during halftime at games.
Sometimes it’s a little more unusual than that.
“The game (three weeks ago) was the first time I’ve had to go ask cheerleaders for bobby pins,” Smith said with a laugh. “I’ve got daughters so I know some of this stuff. We had to have her hair braided pregame before and some of those things are a little different.
“What I’ve told her is I want to make sure you’re OK.”
Smith occasionally has to apologize for saying something to the team about hitting like a girl, but it doesn’t phase Lowery.
“She’s phenomenal,” Smith said.
“We haven’t had a problem yet.
“And I think it’s a testament to her, it’s a testament to our guys. They want her around because she makes us better.”
Which is not to say it wasn’t a little strange for Lowery or the other players at first.
Lowery used the word “weird” to describe what she thought when she was approached to play and the first day of practice.
“Because, I mean, I’m the only girl that’s been asked to play,” she said. “I kicked last year, not for the team, but just at halftime to play around. So people had been asking me to play.
“It was really weird, trying on the pads and everything the first day.”
Senior wide receiver and one of the team’s leaders, Will Treadwell, used the same word.
“At first it was kind of weird,” he said. “But it’s not weird at all. It’s actually pretty cool.”
Lowery said it only took a few days to get used to it.
“It isn’t bad now,” she said. “They actually, like, treat me as one of their teammates.”


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