In his 18 years at Pinckney Community High School, Jim Darga, the principal, said, the homecoming queen had always been crowned at halftime of the school’s football game. Never before, though, had she had to be summoned from the team’s locker room.
And that was just the beginning of Brianna Amat’s big night.
If being named homecoming queen is a lifetime memory for a high school student, so, too, is kicking a winning field goal. For Amat, 18, they happened within an hour of each other.
On Friday, with Pinckney leading powerful Michigan rival Grand Blanc, 6-0, at the half, Amat, the first girl to play football for the school’s varsity, was asked to return to the field. When she arrived, she was told that her fellow students had voted her queen. When the tiara was placed on her head, she was wearing not a dress, like the other girls in the homecoming court, but her No. 12 uniform, pads and all.
A short while later, with five minutes to play in the third quarter, Amat was called to the same field to attempt a 31-yard field goal. She split the uprights.
The kick proved decisive as Pinckney held on for a 9-7 victory against a Grand Blanc team that had come into the game ranked seventh in the state in its division. It also earned Amat the nickname the Kicking Queen.
(Photo of Pinckney High School kicker Brianna Amat at practice by Stephen McGee / The New York Times)