HBCU News

JSU Freshman Becomes The First Female to Play HBCU D1 Football


Earlier this month Jackson State University freshman, Leilani Armenta went viral on social media for being the first woman to ever play in a D1 HBCU football game.

According to the Jackson Advocate, Armenta joined the team only 4 days before the season began, and was chosen for the game’s opening kick that sent the ball 25 yards to the other team’s 40-yard line.

 Her pooch kick was the longest for Jackson State in the game according to Jackson, Mississippi ABC affiliate WAPT.

She started her football journey during her freshman year of high school when a coach approached her about her interest in kicking.

“He said, ‘You’re interested in kicking?’ And I was like, ‘Well, I mean, I guess.’ And he’s like, ‘OK, well, we’ll see you tomorrow,’” Armenta said.

In her high school career, she made 98 out of 105 extra points, a perfect 5 out of 5 on-field goal attempts, 3,552 kickoff yards, two touchbacks, and three onside recoveries. She even played her entire senior football season with her torn ACL on her kicking leg.

Armenta stepped up to kick the ball at the Jackson State versus Bethune Cookman game fresh off ACL surgery and nine months of no kicking.

However, her action on the field didn’t go without online criticism. BlackNews.com, reports that many suggested that JSU was playing her just for publicity or that she was just chosen for a viral moment.

Armenta told WAPT that she is not phased by such comments.

“I saw, I read them,” Armenta said. “For me personally, if they want to go out and do it, they can go do it. I worked very hard. My motivation is nine months ago, I wasn’t walking. It doesn’t really faze me what people think about it. And if it really was that easy, or if it wasn’t a great kick, by all means, go and do it. There’s a reason that I got called. There’s a reason that I’m practicing.”

Armenta is currently in rehab for her ACL and hopes to return to the football field soon.


Source link : hbcubuzz.com

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