Isabella Mickelson is the first female member of Lamar's Varsity Football Team.

Lamar’s First Female Football Player Tackles it All with Class and Grit

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If given the chance to try everything you’ve ever wanted to do, would you take it? Well, for senior athlete Isabella Mickelson – the answer has always been “Why not?” 

Mickelson participates in many varsity sports at school, including football (in the position of kicker), track, softball and cross country. In addition to playing for many Lamar teams, Mickelson also plays club soccer. 

While maintaining sports, extra curricular activities and school, Mickelson is still able to keep an open perspective. 

“Five years in the future, what will matter?” Mickelson said. 

As an only child, Mickelson’s parents encouraged her to try many things. She’s always found ways to keep herself busy, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that she found something to commit to for the next four years. 

“Sports kind of structured my life and my parents didn’t have to force me,” Mickelson said.

While Mickelson is incredibly dedicated to sports, she acknowledges that there are indeed obstacles – especially where football is concerned. Football has always intrigued her, but she wasn’t very knowledgeable of the sport before joining the team. 

“I had no idea how to really play football, and so that was really challenging,” Mickelson said. 

 When Mickelson first joined the team she received relatively positive feedback. However, she was also frequently asked if she actually played the sport even when in uniform. 

Because football has long been a male-dominated sport, many will often pose the question: how are you received by your male counterparts? Although Mickelson’s teammates often stand up for her and are very supportive of her presence on the team – there are times when being the lone female on the team can get lonely. 

“I can be friends with my teammates, but sometimes I still feel just slightly out of place,” Mickelson said. 

Mickelson refers to football as a “different atmosphere,as she recounts the most memorable moment for her in the sport. 

“This coach had a kid that was in purple crocs for the weight room and therefore he wasn’t allowed to go in,” Mickelson said. “So the coach took off his own shoes and gave him (the player) those shoes and the coach wore purple crocs for the rest of the day. It just shows you that the team and the coaches care so much about each other.”

Welcomed by so many seniors during her time as an underclassmen, Mickelson hopes to be as welcoming as those before her. Because of the impact she’s made thus far, her coach’s daughter has decided to try out for kicker for her Junior High’s football team. 

“I think it’s incredible that if I can impact one kid, just one, how differently that could change their  life,” Mickelson said. 

Throughout her high school career, Mickelson’s hard work has not gone unrecognized. In just her junior year, Mickelson was awarded Joni McCoy Female Athlete of the Year. 

“Yes it’s going to be super challenging and you’re going to get that push back, but as long as your heart is in it, it will be easy to focus on what you’re doing,” Mickelson said. “ In five years will people remember that you accomplished this, or will they remember that you tripped one time. You can truly do anything you want if you really put your mind to it.” 

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