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Wisconsin Heights kicker continues family tradition

Leading 8-man football in attempts and is tied for first in makes
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 6:10 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On the Wisconsin Heights football team, it’s common to have teammates that are also family.

Head Football Coach Dustan Baldassari, said most of the students he coaches have known each other since they were kids.

“We have three different sets of brothers on the team,” Baldassari said. " I couldn’t even count the number of cousins on the team, I think they’re all related somehow.”

Watching from the sidelines you might not notice, but one pair of cousins stands out among the rest. Kaden Wagner shares a spot on the roster with his cousin Emma-Ray Kalscheuer, the team’s kicker.

“She had mentioned to me when we were walking through handshake lines at the end of the game that some guys on the other team go, “oh that was a girl I didn’t even realize it,” Baldassari said.

This fall is Emma-Ray’s first season with the team, and so far she’s been successful. Emma-Ray is 19 for 23 in extra points, leading 8-man football in attempts and is tied for first in makes.

“It’s still something that’s different and bold,” Emma-Ray said. “I would be missing out on so much if I didn’t decide to do it.”

Emma-Ray said she attributes much of her success to her mother, Jessica Kalscheuer, who was the kicker for Middleton High School in 1997.

“Not that I can remember that I knew of anyone doing it before me that any girls had tried out for any sports that were boy-oriented, so no it was definitely a big leap,” Jessica said.

When Emma-Ray decided she wanted to try out for the football team, Jessica said she and Emma-Ray would go out and practice so she would be prepared come tryouts.

Upon making the team, Emma-Ray said she was nervous to be the only female, but once her kicks started going through, she was treated just like any other player on the team.

“Just knowing that they don’t care that I’m a girl playing,” Emma-Ray said. “They’re like you’re on the team you do your job just as much as we do, and that they’re there for me is awesome.”

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