TOWAMENCIN >> Kelly Macnamara’s big hit has become a really big deal.
Video of the North Penn junior kicker – the first female player in the school’s history – with a hard tackle on a Central Bucks East returner during the teams’ game last Saturday has become a viral sensation on the internet.
“It was really cool. Every time I’d go (on Twitter) there was like the little notification 20-plus and it keeps refreshing and there’s 20 more,” said Macnamara Monday afternoon. “It’s really cool. Definitely not something I’d ever expect.”
Macnamara’s post on Twitter of the hit has more than 900 retweets and more than 2000 likes, but clip has been shared all over Twitter and has been posted on several national sports sites including Deadspin and Bleacher Report.
— Kelly Macnamara (@kellmac_) October 9, 2016
“That was crazy. I really didn’t think it was that special,” Macnamara said. “It was just something that I had to do in the game and it was really cool. It was kind of unrealistic to a degree.”
The hit even got the attention of North Penn grad and current Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, who tweeted the video along with the caption “North Penn kickers” followed by the 100 emoji.
“That was really cool. I’ve met him before,” Macnamara said. “He came to our school after the Broncos won the Super Bowl and we were talking for a little bit. That was really cool.”
In the video from last Saturday’s game – which North Penn won 33-14 to improve to 7-0 – the Central Bucks East returner is dashing down the sidelines after a kickoff return reverse before Macnamara charges at him and knocks him hard out of bounds just past midfield.
“It was a little bit shorter (kickoff) than what I normally do,” Macnamara said. “It went to the returner, they handed it off and did a reverse fake-play type thing and the returner was really fast, he came up the sideline and I saw that I was the only one left and I had to do it unless he was going to score.”
For Macnamara, there was never a plan to deliver a highlight-worthy hit.
“I was more scared than anything I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said. “I just ran into him and that was it.”
But the hit had North Penn football abuzz after the game and it soon had the attention of the rest of the internet shortly after.
“On the bus ride home everybody was really excited about it, all the guys were saying good job and saying how cool it was,” Macnamara said. “I posted it on Twitter and a bunch of my friends retweeted it and then House of Highlights direct messaged me and they were like, ‘Hey can we use this on our page,’ and I was like sure.”
Along with becoming a huge on social media, Macnamara got some extra props when she returned to school Monday.
“I walked into my first two period classes and the teachers already had it up on the board and they were saying stuff about it,” she said. “It was really cool. It’s not something that generally happens.”
Macnamara is not just a heavy hitter. She continues to provide North Penn with a strong kicking game – making three extra points and hitting a pair of field goals — connecting from 33 yards out in the second quarter then made a 32-yarder in the fourth in the win over East.
“I think I’ve definitely gotten significantly better from going camps and working on it with coaches,” Macnamara said. “I went to a Kicking World camp and that was really, really great and that really helped me.”
Macnamara says in practice she can hit field goals in the 50-yard range and in games her comfort level is around 40 yards. She has been a kicker for just the past three years and has being a member of the North Penn varsity the last two. Macnamara got her start as a freshman when she decided to join the joint Pennfield-Pennbrook team.
“They didn’t have a kicker and it was something that I thought would be fun,” she said of her start with the junior high team. “Went out and I tried it and ended up working really well so I stuck with it.”
Kicking is only a part of Macnamara’s athletic talents as she is a part of lacrosse and track and field at North Penn. As a sophomore last season, she earned All-Suburban League Continental track and field honors in discus (second team) and shot put (third team).
“I don’t think of it as much as a girl power thing, I think of it as I’m a person and it’s something that I like doing and people do things that they like doing,” said Macnamara of being NP’s kicker. “I knew I would be capable of doing it if I put my mind to it and I would really hard, I went to camps and I stretched and I do everything I supposed to, so it works out.”