A graceful girl with a long blonde ponytail prances out onto the field as the crowd roars a series of chants, “Bailey! Bailey! Bailey!” She lightly taps her foot and effortlessly kicks the football between the goal posts, acquiring another PAT (point after touchdown). This scene recurs every Friday night during football season right here in Lodi.
Making national news as a female kicker, Tokay High School senior Bailey Smith has acquired 38 career points to date and broken a Tokay High School record by completing eight PAT kicks in a single game. Her longest field goal during practice measured a lengthy 46 yards.
As a center defender on the soccer field, her neighbor and varsity football coach knew that she had an amazing amount of strength in her foot. After casual banter about her trying out for the football team, she finally went to practice one day and had a “kick-off” with other players. Skeptical at first, the boys weren’t sure about her involvement as a player. But she proved her worth, and now they treat her as one of the guys.
“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them,” Bailey confidently explained.
Going up against the odds came easy to Bailey, as she thinks everyone should do what they love and live without regrets, not worrying about the approval of others.
Bailey will be hanging up her football cleats after the season wraps up, but her soccer cleats will likely continue to see use on a collegiate field. Keeping her options open and taking advantage of recruiter trips, Lodi can expect to see Bailey Smith in the news for years to come.