Fri, Oct 28 2011 01:58 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The list of females who have played varsity football in the Metro Conference is a short one. Castle Park’s Shayna Hill is perhaps the most celebrated girl to don pads in a local contest, and she had quite a run during her senior year.
Hill is believed to be the first female to play in a San Diego Section championship game when the Trojans defeated the Carlsbad, 37-10, in December 1996 to claim the Division II title and, in the process, cap a perfect 13-0 season.
Bonita Vista junior Devon Roncoroni may never have met Hill, who graduated in 1997, but she is certainly following in her pioneering footsteps as the varsity place-kicker on this year’s Bonita Vista Barons squad.
“Everyone has been accepting, it’s cool,” she said before a recent game. “I don’t think anyone talks about me behind my back.”
Roncoroni has actually been with the Barons since her freshman year. She played at the junior varsity level last season.
BVHS head coach Greg Raby said she’s earned the starting assignment.
“Devon is a great addition to our team, she gives it everything she has,” Raby said.
Roncoroni enters Friday’s game at Southwestern College against the rival Eastlake Titans with some impressive numbers. She has successfully kicked 17 extra-point conversions and also booted a 27-yard field goal.
She had one extra-point kick in last Friday’s 30-13 loss at Chula Vista. She booted five extra points in a 41-30 non-league victory at San Marcos on Sept. 23 after being perfect on four PAT attempts the previous week in a 28-28 tie at Grossmont.
Her journey to the gridiron came quite unexpectedly. A soccer player with a strong foot, she was passing the BVHS practice field during her freshman year when someone suggested she try out for the football team after the Barons had lost all their place-kickers for the season.
She did, and the rest is, well, “herstory.”
“It was hard as a freshman because I transferred districts and I didn’t know anyone here,” she said.
After delivering booming kicks through the uprights, teammates quickly learned her name.
Her longest field goal, set in a JV game, is 42 yards. She has kicked a 46-yarder in practice.
Roncoroni, a soccer midfielder, said there are three things that make a successful kick in football.
“The snap has to be good, the hold has to be good and my motion to the ball has to be good and on time,” she said. “It all happens in three seconds.”
Roncoroni is actually one of two female kickers at BVHS. Cassie Castillo is on the JV squad. So there is some friendly competition.
“We have a lot of confidence in Devon’s ability,” Raby said. “Hopefully, before she graduates, we can give her a chance to kick a game-winning field goal.”
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