Mascot on the field

Sadie Knostman is the first female in Oakwood history to play on the coed varsity football team


Football Frenzy: Sadie Knostman (12) is off the field and is to cheer on her teammates. “I like being on the team and being on the field on Friday nights,” Knostman said. “I just like being involved in general, no matter what I’m doing and it’s fun to just be there.” Photo by: Erin Goeller.

Evelyn Hoffman, Reporter

In previous years, students would most likely see Sadie Knostman (12) in the infamous Lumberjack Jill mascot attire. With an Oakwood flag in one hand and determination to rally the masses in another, Knostman entertained the student and parent sections for two years. But this year, spectators can find her on the field playing as kicker for the varsity football team.

As a player for varsity women’s basketball and soccer, Knostman has been greatly involved in athletics throughout her high school career. Knostman and Snider, her coach, have previously worked together through track. Coach Butch Snider thought of her as a very coachable teammate so thought that she would be a great addition to the football team. 

I’m super grateful that everyone was welcoming. No one treated me any differently,” Knostman said.  “It was intimidating at first because a majority of them have been playing together since they were super young, but I started in the summer by going to the summer lifting, which definitely helped integrate me in before the official tryouts began.”

After Snider coached Knostman in track, he was exhilarated to be coaching her again in football. 

 “She has a tremendous work ethic and figures out ways in which to improve everyday,” Snider said. “She’s a gifted athlete and is extremely coachable.” 

Mikey Duvic (12) has enjoyed having Knostman on the team. He believes that she has been a big part in helping the class of 2022 to leave their trace in Oakwood. 

I think Sadie has been a great addition to the team this year,” Duvic said. “She actually made history the last few weeks by being the first girl to play in a varsity football game ever in Oakwood, which I thought was awesome. It just adds to our legacy of our grade for making our difference.” 

Some, whether on or off the team, may doubt Knostman’s abilities on the field. However, Snider believes that Sadie is a great asset to the team, no matter her gender. 

 “She fits in perfectly. The players have welcomed her with open arms and they accept her as a football player just like everyone else on the team,”  Snider said. “They root for her and encourage her on a regular basis.”

The principles Knostman and Duvic discuss are plastered on the weight room; these include relentless effort, competitive excellence and Power of the unit. These principles can be used in both football and high school. They also agree that you should be bold in high school and enjoy it. One should go out and do it, whatever that is, just try. You’re only in high school for 4 years, so go out and live it. It will be challenging but nothing is out of your reach no matter who you are or where you came from. 

It’s important to be strong and assert yourself, because it’s going to be awkward at first,” Knostman said. “It’s important to not back down and do what you believe in.”