October 30, 2023
Jackson State University Football is making history yet again. However, instead of focusing on its coaching staff, one of its players is taking the spotlight.
Kicker Leilana Armenta is the first woman to play in HBCU Division 1 football and is now the first woman kicker to score during a game, as confirmed by WLBT 3. Armenta made her debut in JSU’s match against Bethune-Cookman University but made a significant impact during her performance in the Tiger’s eighth game of the 2023 season on Oct. 28. She was added to the roster officially on Sept. 23 following an injury, as confirmed by JSU’s football program via X.
Armenta solidified herself as a marker of HBCU sports history in the second quarter of the game, as she earned her historic stat by making the extra-point kick following tight-end D.J. Stevens’ touchdown. The 5’7” athlete has also averaged 25 yards in her kickoff stats.
The football squad bested the Arkansas Pine-Bluff Golden Lions in a win of 40-14, with the added help of their unique kicker. After her first successful point-after-touchdown (PAT), Armenta cemented two more attempts to score additional points for her team.
This is the California native’s first year on the roster, and she is already proving a formidable kicker. Hailing from Ventura, Armenta is an All-Star athlete who also plays for the HBCU’s soccer team.
While Armenta is not the first female football player to appear in the NCAA, she is part of the expansion for women to play a significant role, especially in male-dominated sports at HBCUs.
The team is set to take on Texas Southern University next in a home game on Nov. 4.
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