Cleat Geeks

Women of Sports: Caitlyn Cox

Caitlyn Cox is a senior at Lawton High School in Oklahoma. She not only wears #22 in net as goalie for the soccer team, but also on the football field as the Varsity kicker.

Caitlyn has an athletic background where she excels in basketball, football, soccer, and track and field (high jump). Her presence is known on the Oklahoma gridiron with her automatic field goals as well as helping her team win big games. She has also achieved awards such as 2014 All-Vype Kicker of the Year and more recently 2015 All-District Kicker of the Year.

It is a known fact that being a student-athlete can be difficult while participating in one sport, let alone multiple sports. Caitlyn continues to prove her focus and determination on the field and in the classroom. She has recently signed her letter of intent with Evangel University, where she plans to get her degree in Athletic Training, play soccer for the Crusaders, and pursue a path in motivational speaking.

I caught up with Caitlyn and asked her the following questions about her High School career and future plans:

Q: Growing up in Lawton, your immediate neighborhood was mostly boys your age. Depending on the season, you would play whatever the popular sport was in the neighborhood. Do you think this gave you an advantage on gaining your competitive edge?
A: Yes, I believe it did. I always wanted to keep up with the boys and be able to compete at their level.

Q: You started playing soccer at age 4, picked up basketball later in third grade, and have continued to play both throughout High School. Out of all of the sports you have played, what is your favorite, and why?
A: That’s a hard one. I’d have to say football is my favorite because I love watching it as much as I love playing it.

Q: Do you play any other sports besides the above?
A: I high jump for my school’s track and field team as well.

Q: Did all of these sports help you get to where you are at today?
A: Sports have developed me into the person I am today. Without them I’m not sure what I would be doing.

Q: Your sophomore year of High School you were a student-trainer working with the football team. Having a background in soccer, you were always intrigued by the kickers. When did you finally decide to try kicking?
A: I finally decided to try kicking during the end of spring ball sophomore year with a couple of my friends from the football team.

Q: After you tried out, you then kicked and worked out with the football team in the following spring practice, impressing assistant coaches and possible teammates. Your next step would be to break a barrier with Coach Randy Breeze, a veteran coach who had never allowed a girl on any of his teams. How did you approach Coach Breeze and convince him to give you a chance to tryout?
A: To talk to Coach Breeze, you have to come stand at his door, give a knock, and wait till he is ready for you. I came in and sat down in front of his desk, and nervously asked him what he would think about me possibly trying to kick for him. He had seen me kick a few times, and liked that I worked hard, so he decided to give me a chance.

Q: You initially asked Coach Breeze if you could be the JV kicker. Coach Breeze responded with, “Why just JV, we need you as our Varsity Kicker.” What went through your mind when he said that?
A: I was very surprised when he said this because I already thought I was pushing my limits by asking to kick for JV.

Q: What was more challenging; asking Coach Breeze for a tryout, or telling your parents you made the team?
A: Asking Coach Breeze for a tryout was definitely more challenging than telling my parents I made the team.

Q: What do your kicking duties entail?
A: I take care of all extra points, field goals, and kickoffs.

Photo by The Lawton Constitution

Q: What’s your range?
A: I am consistent from 40 yards and in, but I can hit it from 50 yards.

Q: In April of 2015 you attended the National Camp Series in Arkansas. You went 8/10 on Field Goals with your only misses being from 47 and 52 yards. Coach Brian Jackson with Team Jackson Kicking said, “Caitlyn has a lot of potential and can play at the next level.” If given the opportunity to play both soccer and football at the next level, would you try? Or just focus on one sport?
A: If I was given the opportunity to try both, I would most definitely take it.

Q: Do you feel that playing both soccer and football helps each sport or hinders?
A: I believe that it enhances each sport; although, the techniques in kicking the ball are different. They both build and reveal character.

Q: What is your locker room situation like?
A: I have my own locker room inside the coaches’ office bathroom. The second year that I played, they finally put a lock on the door for me instead of having to knock the secret knock.

Q: Have you ever had to deal with anything a male football player has never had to deal with?
A: Yes, I have. I don’t believe any male player had to change in multiple places besides the locker room. I’ve changed in stairwells, women’s bathrooms, and random corners.

Q: What do you tell girls who ask you for advice when it comes to playing football?
A: I always tell them that if they put their mind to it, they can do whatever they want. Not just in football, but in life. If they have the courage and ability, nothing can stop them.

Q: Who is your role model?
A: I would have to say my role model is my granddad, or as I like to call him, Papa David.

Q: Describe a typical practice?
A: A typical practice for me consists of warming up during pre-practice, working on technique, leg snap, and ball contact. Then we all move on to agilities, and then into practice. Our practices are done in segments. For the most part, the other kickers and I would work on field goals when spots were available on the field; and when they weren’t, we would go over to the section of grass across the field and work on kickoffs. Once we got to the segment of practice which we called team, I would spot the ball for my teammates to run their plays.

Q: How do you train in the off-season?
A: In the off-season I do a lot of kicking and lifting. I enjoy going to camps and watching videos to help gain better knowledge on the most effective ways of kicking.

Q: What is your favorite football moment so far?
A: My favorite football moment so far would have to be the game winning field goal that sealed the deal for district champs. Our QB had told me he would get us in position for a field goal and he did just that. After the game my dad came up to me and said “That’s what dreams are made of,” and I’ll never forget it.

Q: Do you have a pregame ritual?
A: Before every game I take out my Charles Capps’ book, God’s Creative Power Will Work For You, and I walk the field, stopping at both kickoff, and extra point marks reading out loud the scriptures from inside.

Q: Any superstitions?
A: I have to sleep in my jersey the night before the game so that I wake up game ready.

Q: What is playing on your headphones?
A: You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music & Amanda Cook

Q: Who gets the most credit for where you are today in life?
A: Jesus and my parents! Couldn’t do anything without their support.

Q: What are your favorite highlights of your High School football career?
A: Kicking my career long field goal against our biggest rivals and going to the state championship game with the best teammates anyone could ask for.

Q: What do you plan to do in College? Academically? Athletically?
A: I plan to get a degree in Athletic Training and play soccer.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
A: My favorite quote is, “We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm.” – Winston Churchill

Follow Caitlyn on HudlInstagram, and Twitter.

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