By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer, Video by Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter
There’s not much 2021 Baylor soccer commit Lorelai Stramrood can’t do.
A star athlete in volleyball and soccer for Tomball Memorial High School, Stramrood has most recently decided to take on football as her next athletic conquest.
“I heard that the last kicker tore his quad and couldn’t play this season and was like, ‘This is my chance’,” Stramrood said.
And just like in every other sport she has played, Stramrood has excelled. As Tomball Memorial has sped to a 3-0 start, Stramrood has already knocked in 12 extra-point kicks.
“We knew what kind of athlete she was,” Tomball Memorial head football coach Sam Parker said. “So, I said, ‘Great, have her come out and kick.’ She came out and I think there was some ‘Hmm, I’m not sure,’ but then she kicked the ball, and everybody was like, ‘Let’s sign her up.”
While Stramrood has done well, she said her past experience in soccer did not help prepare her for kicking a football and she had doubts of whether she would be good enough to kick for the team.
“It’s very, very different,” Stramrood said. “You have to be more precise in the placement of kicking the football. You basically have to hit the ball perfectly for it to go where you want it to go and the approach is crucial. There were doubts on my part where could I hit it hard enough. Could I get my accuracy percentage very high? Could I really do this?”
Those doubts continued for Stramrood up until she ran onto the field for her first extra point in the opening game against Langham Creek. But she said she was able to overcome them to make the kick.
“Once I ran onto the field, I was getting shortness of breath. I was like, ‘Oh gosh, this is actually happening,’” Stramrood said. “But then I reminded myself, ‘Hey all it is is muscle memory. You’ve kicked 20 of these balls in one single soccer game. I think you can kick one football into the uprights.’”
After the 2020 football season, Stramrood will turn her attention to collegiate soccer, as she will be an early enrollee for the Baylor soccer program in the spring. Stramrood said she chose Baylor soccer because of its persistence in recruiting her since her freshman year.
“Baylor was probably the first college to show big interest in me,” Stramrood said.
Being a female football player in Texas is unique, and Stramrood said she hopes her example will help other girls work hard and take on new challenges.
“I’d say to go out and do it,” Stramrood said to girls who were considering playing football. “But keep in mind it’s not going to come easy. Kicking has not come easy to me; I’ve trained so many years for it. So I want other girls to know that they can go, and they can set their goals, but they also have to work hard for it.”