Lorraine Weiskopf didn’t step onto the football field at halftime with the other 14 girls during Covington High’s homecoming Friday night.
Wesikopf didn’t get her moment until the fourth quarter.
She’s a kicker, not a homecoming maid.
She wasn’t wearing heels or a dress or makeup with hair flowing down her back.
Instead, she wore cleats. Her hair was hidden underneath her helmet, tied in a ponytail tucked inside her No. 45 football jersey, underneath those oh-so-uncomfortable shoulder pads.
“I don’t like the pads one bit,” she said. “Everything just feels so tight. You’re struggling to move. The helmet is uncomfortable. It’s just a weird feeling.”
But that weird feeling was worth it Friday night when Weiskopf trotted onto the field and kicked an extra point to cap Covington’s 45-7 triumph over Northshore.
She became the first girl to ever score a point in a football game for Covington and the first in recent memory locally.
Little did she know at the time, but with that historic extra point also comes extra attention. She’s had her share of interviews and pats on the back this week.
“I’m still getting compliments from my teachers and people telling me I’m brave for doing it,” she said on Tuesday. “But it’s dying down some now. It felt pretty awesome to have something you worked so hard for go right. To put in the effort and to see it go as planned is a pretty great feeling.”
The 16-year old quickly tries to turn the attention away from herself.
“Please mention my teammates,” she pleaded. “I wouldn’t have even got the chance to kick if it wasn’t for them scoring a lot of points in the game.”
Third-string kickers like Weiskopf don’t get a lot of opportunities.
She had to wait patiently through three games before finally getting her opportunity Friday. Covington starting kicker Ian Connelly has helped show her the ropes. In fact, she wears No. 45 so her name would be next to his name on the roster. Connelly wears No. 46.
“He and coach (Greg) Salter have been the most influential people on the team for me,” she said. “He is always there and is reassuring.”
She is looking forward to her next opportunity to kick.
Covington hosts Slidell on Thursday in one of three games being played on the north shore Thursday because of the St. Tammany Fair.
For now, her chances will likely come only on extra points.
Salter isn’t willing to risk her kicking a field goal or on kickoffs just yet.
“A blocked extra point is a deadball, so I don’t have to worry about her having to try to make a tackle or someone trying to clean her clock,” Salter said.
Not that Weiskopf is afraid.
“I think that would be fun,” she said. “I’d like to try it one day. In soccer I was known for being really aggressive.”
So aggressive, in fact, that one of her former soccer coaches nicknamed her “The Thug” because of her aggressiveness and ability to guard the best scorer and keep the ball away from them.
But underneath that toughness is the real Lorraine Weiskopf.
“I’m really a girly girl,” she said. “I love dressing up. So people tend to be shocked when I tell them I play football.”
Especially, considering her knowledge of the game.
“She knows nothing about football,” said her mom (and namesake) Lorraine Weiskopf. “She has no interest in it as far as watching the Saints or anything like that. She doesn’t know the different positions. She even gets confused sometimes on extra points and field goals. I have to correct her sometimes and tell her that an extra point is one point and a field goal is three points.”
So what caused a girl who wasn’t really into football to play football?
A good cause.
Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. Her grandmother, Lorraine Resor, is battling the disease as well.
And that inspired Weiskopf to attend a Relay for Life event in April. The event, which raises money for cancer, was held on a football field.
“I was joking around with friends kicking a football that night and was making them and decided I was going to look more into it,” she recalled.
Salter didn’t take her seriously at first.
“But she came out and started putting them through the uprights,” he said. “I told her that she was going to be treated just like everyone else and if she was willing to work, she would be given the same opportunities as everyone else. And she was.”
It was perhaps tougher convincing her parents.
“I didn’t know if it was such a good idea,” said Mrs. Weiskopf. “And her dad (Robert) wasn’t too fond of it either. But she loves being active.”
Weiskopf admits she wasn’t always that way. She describes herself as lazy during her younger years.
“It was just me and the remote,” she said.
Then she began playing soccer in the seventh grade and took up ballet a year later.
The ballet helps her with kicking.
“But there probably aren’t too many opportunities for a 5-foot-10 ballet dancer,” said her mom. “Most men can’t pick them up or throw them, so maybe football is good.”
Away from sports, she is secretary of the art club and a member of the Foreign Language Club.
“I have to be doing something,” she said. “I can’t sit still long enough to watch anything. Soccer. Football. Anything. I have to be active.”
So she runs cross country, track and plays soccer and football.
Soccer and football are her favorites. She paused when asked her favorite of the two.
Futbol or football?
“That’s a really hard question,” she said. “I don’t if I can answer that one. It’s really close.”