Maria Ronda after her record-breaking kick
photo by Tuck Watts
Ridgeland High School place kicker Maria Ronda made history Friday night in Rossville as the Ridgeland Panthers high school football team competed in a scrimmage game against Chattooga County.
Ronda, a junior in her third year on the team, entered the game to kick a field goal during the third quarter, making her the first female football player to score a point for the team in a contest in the school’s 34-year history.
Ronda would later add two point-after kicks to finish the night with five of Ridgeland’s 47 total points.
Ronda also competes on the school’s soccer team and was nominated last year for the Vonn Bell Award, which is awarded annually to the school’s best male and female athletes.
That award is named after former Ridgeland football standout Vonn Bell, who went on to play college football at Ohio State before being drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Bell is currently a member of the Carolina Panthers, a team he joined this summer after spending the last three years playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, appearing as a defensive starter in Super Bowl LVI.
Ridgeland will be back in action of Friday, Aug. 25, when North Cobb Christian visits Bowers and Painter Field in Rossville. Game time is 7:30 p.m.