VERNON, Conn. — When No. 65 steps onto the field at Rockville High School, the person under the pads and helmet is someone not usually seen in the gridiron.
Underneath the blue and yellow jersey, ready to kick the football down the field is Molly Wilson. She is a freshman at Rockville High School in Vernon and is the only girl on the all-boy team.
“It doesn’t really matter if it’s all boys, if you love the sport you can play it,” said.
Wilson is the Rams’ starting kicker and it only happened after team coach Erick Knickerbocker saw her practicing in a video on Twitter.
“I go an alert on Twitter that someone had tagged me, and it was her kicking coach,” he told FOX61 News recently. “She’s kicking 30-yard field goals over the summer.”
After earning her spot on the roster, it didn’t take long for Wilson to become a fan favorite.
“One game we had, she was 5-for-5 on extra points and right around the second or third one, our whole student section was cheering ‘Molly, Molly’,” recalls Jeff Farrell, the athletics director for Rockville High School.
The teenager’s father John Wilson was working the chains that game.
“I don’t remember a game where I heard someone chanting someone’s name like that. It’s just incredible,” he said.
Molly honors her father by wearing the No. 65, which is the number he wore as an offensive and defensive tackle for Rockville High School in the early 1990s.
“It’s an honor to play here in the first place, and continuing his legacy is just another plus,” she said.
“Definitely given that number a better name for sure," he said.
For Molly, being on a team means being treated the same as everyone else. Her teammates and coaches are honoring that.
“She shouldn’t be treated any differently," explains her holder, Carson Morgan. "She’s just like everyone else here."
A sentiment echoed by her kicking coach Alex Voukounas.
“She didn’t want to be treated any differently,” he said. “She just wanted to be treated like a football player. And that’s all she cares about.”
She cares about being treated the same, so now that Molly has the spotlight, all she wants to do is to share it.
“I can’t do this without my teammates,” she said. “I just hope they keep trusting me that I’ll kick it.”
Molly is humble. She puts her head down and goes to work doing what she loves.
“She puts 150% into everything," her mother Karen Wilson said. "And how can we not be proud of that?”
And Molly is proud of herself.
“Now that I’m here, I love it here. And I’m proud that I pushed myself to play,” she said.
Jonah Karp is the sports director at FOX61 News. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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