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Homecoming queen swaps tiara for her football helmet, kicking winning point

A Mississippi high school football team wins the game in overtime on Friday, thanks to Homecoming Queen Kaylee Foster’s winning goal.

Early in the night, Foster was named homecoming queen, an unexpected honor for the senior at Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs. She posed for photos with her flowers and crown, grinning from ear to ear on the football field, with her family and friends looking on from the stands at Greyhound Stadium.

Homecoming Queen Kaylee Foster holds her football helmet while wearing a tiara on the field in Ocean Springs, Miss., Sept. 7, 2018.  (Justin Sutton/Ocean Springs School District via Associated Press)

When the George County High School Rebels scored a touchdown but failed to convert the extra point in the first possession of overtime, the Greyhounds found themselves down six with the ball. On its next possession, Ocean Springs finally found paydirt on a 29-yard pass, its first touchdown of the night. The game was tied at 12, with the Greyhounds needing an extra point to seal the win.

Now, with her team on the brink of victory against George County, she was confident as she grabbed her helmet and stepped onto the field once more. The time had come for the homecoming queen of Ocean Springs, otherwise known as the team’s ace kicker, to take her throne.

“Jak King, the holder, he like looks at me and [said] like, ‘it’s okay, Kaylee. Just kick it like you always do. It’s okay,’” said Foster, according to WLOX.

The snap was good and the hold was tight, sending her teammates and home fans into a frenzy.

“The next thing I know, everyone is like right there,” she recalled of her teammates mobbing her on the field. “Just a nice group hug.”

As Foster successfully kicked the game-winning extra point, she had done what perhaps no other high school football player had accomplished, maybe ever: hit the game-winning kick on the same night she was crowned homecoming queen.

Head coach Ryan Ross acknowledged the uniqueness of what unfolded in the win, according to the Press, wondering aloud if what had happened in Jackson County was a first.

“I’d like to check the whole country and see if it’s ever happened before,” Ross said of Foster winning the game on the night she was named homecoming queen, according to the Press. “It certainly makes for a memorable weekend for the whole team, but especially Kaylee. It’s a big night for her. I’m proud of her and I’m proud of the team.”

Known primarily as a soccer player who also runs track, Foster has been playing organized football for six years, according to WLOX. The Associated Press reported that Friday’s honor marked the fourth year she was a member of the school’s homecoming court.

“I really don’t have any words,” she said after the game, with her tiara replacing her helmet. “This has just been so wonderful. I love football and I love Ocean Springs.”

Read more at The Washington Post.