Olivia Viney kicks her way into the hearts and minds of Michigan football fans

Only two years ago, the thought of Olivia Viney competing in tackle football at the boys’ high school level was incomprehensible. A prominent soccer kicker, her older brother Tyler had kicked for the Marine City High School Mariners in 2009. During her sophomore year of high school, some boys had suggested that she follow in her brother’s footsteps.

Initially trying out for the junior varsity squad, her football journey would culminate by gracing the turf at Ford Field in Detroit. During the 2013 season, Viney was a starter on the varsity team and successfully connected on an astounding 93 percent of her point-after-attempts. Having accumulated 61 extra-points, it set a school record.

An elated Olivia Viney spotting her friends after an MHSAA state title win at Detroit's Ford Field. (Photo credit: Mike Mulholland)

An elated Olivia Viney spotting her friends after an MHSAA state title win at Detroit’s Ford Field. (Photo credit: Mike Mulholland)

With the support of Mariners head coach Ron Glodich, she was quickly accepted as one of the team. Competing with the Macomb Area Conference contender, the 5-foot-2 kicker finished her season on a historic note.

Helping her team land a spot in the MHSAA Finals at Ford Field, Viney kicked a stunning seven extra points in the 49-35 Division 4 State Title Game victory over Grand Rapids South Christian high. Of note, her seven extra points not only tied the MHSAA Title Record, but it broke a new school record for the Mariners. When she landed her first extra point in the second quarter of the contest, it marked the first point scored by a female football player in the history of the event.