SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — It’s been quite a year of accomplishments for the Garretson High School football team, even though the Blue Dragons didn’t make it to the Dakota Dome state championship this week. The team’s history-making place-kicker has been named to the Class 9-AA All-State team.
Score another point for Jenna VanHolland’s high school football career.
“Honestly, I was so surprised, I was in the hallway yelling on the phone. It was crazy, I couldn’t believe it,” Jenna said.
Jenna was not only the first-ever girl place-kicker for the Garretson football team this past season… Now, she’s been named an all-state special teams player. It’s the first time a girl has been selected all-state in South Dakota football.
“I never thought this was going to happen, you know? Even three months ago, I never even thought I was going to be on the football team,” Jenna said.
Garretson Head Football Coach Chris Long nominated Jenna for the all-state team.
“When the vote was tallied and her name popped-up on the screen, it was a pretty exciting moment for our coaching staff, we were kind of all fist-pumping and pretty happy about it,” Long said.
The coaching staff recruited Jenna from the girl’s soccer team. Her performance on the football field was certainly worthy of all-state honors. She made 35 out of 38 extra point attempts for the best percentage in school history, including a game-winning extra point in overtime, in her very first game.
“For her to obviously take huge advantage of her talent from the get-go and maintain it at great consistency throughout the season, she proved that she’s just a great kicker,” Long said.
Jenna doesn’t have much time to rest on her all-state laurels. She’s already playing club soccer for the winter season and making plans to take the football field again next year.
“I think they have a spot for me next year, so I’ll be back,” Jenna said, laughing.
For Jenna, it’s not goodbye to the sport she took up just three months ago; it’s welcome back to next season for this history-making player.
“I fully expect her to have just as good, or better year, next year,” Long said.
Jenna is joined by two of her teammates on the all-state team: quarterback Dylan Kindt and wide receiver Cooper Long.