North DeSoto’s Kuntz is getting her kicks in football

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times
North DeSoto's Aubrey Kuntz kicks an extra point.

It happened by chance, but Aubrey Kuntz wishes it happened sooner. 

The senior standout soccer player for the North DeSoto girls’ soccer team showed up at Griffin Stadium a couple of months ago for a morning run. But new turf had been installed inside the track, and it wasn’t ready for student traffic, so coach Joseph Cryer told Kuntz to stay off. 

“You play soccer, don’t you,” Cryer said to Kuntz. “Why don’t you come to football workouts tomorrow and try kicking some extra points.”

Told she was kicking more consistently than any of the male contestants, Kuntz made the team. The rest is history. She nailed three PATs in a scrimmage with Haughton a couple of weeks ago and she went 3-for-3 again Friday on the road at Many. She’ll suit-up Thursday night at home when Northwood comes to visit.

North DeSoto's Aubrey Kuntz will add more bling to her jacket this fall as a football player.

“This has been a lot of fun so far. I just wish I had spent my whole high school career doing it,” said the personable Kuntz. “I wouldn’t have been able to beat out the two boys who were kicking before me, but it would have been neat to be out here.”

Kuntz said she has been welcomed wholeheartedly by the Griffin players.

“I know it’s weird for them, but they haven’t been kissing up,” she laughed. “Something will be said, and a guy will say ‘watch what you’re saying. We have a girl around.’ I’ve told them not to worry about it. I’ve grown up with two brothers and I’ve heard anything they might say -- and more.

“They tease me a little, but they treat me like I’m their sister. I absolutely love how welcoming they’ve been.”

North DeSoto's Aubrey Kuntz waits on the sideline for an opportunity to kick a point after.

Finding a private dressing room has not been a problem at North DeSoto. Her uniform and pads are hung in the coaches’ offices and she uses their private bathroom to dress for workouts. 

“I have a covey in the coaches’ office,” she said. “The coaches’ bathroom is secluded, so there’s not much chance I’ll be involved in an awkward encounter.”

There was a bit more of an issue at Many last week.

“All the boys were in the locker room and I needed to put on my undershirt,” Kuntz said. “I didn’t want it to be awkward for them, so a Many coach had to take me to the girls’ basketball locker room which was a good ways away. He was very nice – talked to me the whole way.” 

Senior Aubrey Kuntz is co-captain of the North DeSoto soccer team in addition to kicking extra points for the football team.

Kuntz has been chided a little by her female friends when she dons the shoulder pads, telling her she looks like an “actual boy,” although one friend, Emily Burford, has been “nothing but supportive.”

The first time she took the field, Kuntz said she was confident, but nervous. Once she nailed a couple of kicks, however, she felt like she fit in. Her greatest fear isn’t getting tackled, but missing a kick that might have tied or won the game. 

“I thought I was going to have to try one of those pressure kicks last week against Many (a 28-21 NDHS loss), but it didn’t work out that way,” she said. 

Actually, getting hit isn’t something she’s worried about. She has asked some of her teammates to tackle her, so she’ll know what to expect in a game.

“But they won’t do it,” Kuntz said. “I know the boys are a lot bigger than me, but I think I can take it.”

North DeSoto's Aubrey Kuntz celebrates with her friends.

A past member of the North DeSoto homecoming court and a two-year class favorite, Kuntz is in the National Honor Society, the Red Coats and a past member of the Beta Club. She’s worked soccer camps for the elementary school kids and handled tryouts for the middle school. She’s co-captain of the Lady Griffins’ soccer team.

Although her dream school is Duke, she plans on attending LSU next fall and possibly majoring in Forensic Psychiatry, although the latter part changes daily. 

Right now, she’s dividing her time between soccer and football workouts, as the seasons will soon overlap. While she’s been steady hitting her PATs, such has not been the case with field goal attempts.

“I haven’t made one yet, but my leg is getting stronger,” she said. “It’s mainly in my head – I have self-doubts.”

But you’d never know that by conversing with her.

Twitter: @JimmyWatson6

Aubrey Kuntz file

Historical person to dine with: Marilyn Monroe

Greatest fear: Alligators

Favorite food: Chocolate ice cream

Favorite sport to watch: Boxing

Favorite TV show: The Originals

Favorite restaurant: Sushi Gen

Favorite athlete: Megan Rapinoe