SALEM, OR (KPTV) – Breaking down barriers with her leg, Kyla Gordon’s parents told her it would be a long trip and they were right.
Now, West Salem Sr. is the starting kicker for the Titans varsity team.
She has a leg and a ponytail.
“I really like their reactions. When they see me after the game, they say, ‘Whoa, that’s a girl. I didn’t even know, ”Gordon said.
West Salem’s Kyla Gordon thought she would have fun under the Friday Night Lights in another way.
“I was ready to be a cheerleader. I had the pom poms, I loved the knots, ”she said.
Soon she went from bows to boots after taking a football kick in eighth grade.
“I was struggling a lot in terms of mental health, so when I was going out there were days when I really wanted to quit,” she said.
The senior Titan is really just one of the guys.
“They’re a little careful about what to say, and I think that’s really funny. They’ll start to say something then turn around and look at me, oh, there’s Kyla. As for everything else, I feel like I’m part of the team like everyone else, ”said Gordon.
The longtime footballer chose to leave the pitch this fall and switch from futbol to full-time football as the start concert was wide open.
“I don’t want to represent feminism or anything, I just want the opportunity to do something that I love,” she said.
The 17-year-old has really improved her love of the game since teaming up with an Oregon State Beaver legend.
“He said things my dad said but in a different way and it started to click,” she said.
Former All-American Alexis Serna won the Lou Groza Award, honored as the nation’s top kicker after his sophomore year at Oregon State in 2005.
After a few seasons in the Canadian Football League, Serna returned to Beaver State to coach young kickers.
“She was one of the only kickers who kept reaching out and saying, ‘Hey, can you come knock with me? So she found value in what I was training, I guess, so we kept running with it, ”Serna said.
Serna, 33, married with two young boys, is starting a new job at OSU as director of Beyond Soccer, a program that helps prepare athletes for life.
“To be back in college, I came from Southern California, Corvallis is my second home, so it feels like I’m coming home,” Serna said.
What’s beyond the senior season for Kyla?
“I would like to continue. It would be such an opportunity, ”she said,
“I think she could punch in a division three school like this, they’re looking for someone who can punch him from 45 inches consistently and I really think she can,” added Serna.
Just for fun, Kyla also referees youth football and plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.