The Times West Virginian

Sports

July 16, 2014

Buonamici hopes to follow in Knight's footsteps

FAIRMONT — “I’ve got to end it on a make,” Taylor Buonamici said after the ball she kicked narrowly missed the uprights at Duvall-Rosier Field.

She placed the football back onto the tee, sized up the yellow field goal posts, took a deep breath and began her trek.

Three steps back, two steps to the right.

The journey to the spot where she was supposed to be lined up had to have been engrained in the 12-year-old’s mind after kicking what must have seemed like 1,000 field goal attempts. But nonetheless, Buonamici rolled her shoulders back, took three steps and swiftly booted the ball between the posts, causing anyone who was watching to hold their hands up in satisfaction, bringing Buonamici’s smile from ear to ear.

A multi-sport athlete for Mannington Middle, Buonamici has a goal of one day kicking field goals for the North Marion Huskies, and Monday was her first time kicking between the uprights.

An avid football fan, Buonamici witnessed West Virginia high school history last season, seeing Lincoln’s placekicker Emily Knight become the first female in the state to be a first-team All-State selection.

“It looked fun,” Buonamici said.

Her mother being a football fan as well, possessing an arm that could have likely put many quarterbacks to shame in her day, has full faith that her daughter will one day be booting field goals for their hometown Huskies.

“We weren’t even planning on her playing, but we were just going to kick it around a little bit until high school and let Brent (Osborne) help her,” Taylor’s mother, Lydia, said. “But (North Marion) Coach (Daran) Hays sent her travel basketball coach a letter and said he wanted her to play now.”

So she’s got the head coaches’ attention already. But it doesn’t stop there.

Enlisting the help of a former North Marion kicker, Buonamici is well on her way to becoming the second female kicker to garner All-State recognition.

One day at a basketball game where his sisters were playing with Buonamici, Brent Osborne, a 2012 North Marion graduate, was part of a conversation about Buonamici wanting to kick. Being the one-time kicker that he was, Osborne decided he’d help out.

“We were sitting at a basketball game one day and I said, ‘Hey, Brent. Taylor said she wants to learn how to kick,’” Lydia said.

“I happen to be around and I saw it on Facebook,” Osborne said, admitting he wanted to be part of the learning process.

During his time at North Marion, Osborne was helped along by Rusty Elliott, someone he credited for building his kicking competence. Now, Osborne can pass his knowledge along to Buonamici.

At one time during her kicking, Osborne had Buonamici turn around and look through the many Fairmont State players who were on the field working out to the field goal post on the opposite side of the field.

“I told her to turn around and look at that field goal post and I said, ‘You could be kicking to that one,’” Osborne said. “And she looked at me and said, ‘This isn’t that far.’ That’s what they used to tell me.”

Not longer after, Buonamici had booted another field goal through the posts.

It makes sense that the young girl would want to be a kicker.

You see, kickers tend to be the ones on the team who sit back and let the quarterbacks and running backs handle the press, answering the tough questions about the game.

If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting her, you’d know that Buonamici is a quiet young lady. But what she may lack when it comes to letting her voice be heard, she makes up for in her athletic ability.

“She has a big opportunity to do some big things. She’s a natural athlete,” Osborne said. “She can adapt to anything. She’s very likely to succeed in this.”

After playing basketball and softball, Buonamici will play for the Husky Pups this fall in hopes of reaching her goal in two years when she’ll be a high school freshman.

Just a few weeks ago, however, there had been no decision as to whether or not she’d play football this fall. But after getting a football in her hands and trying her hand at kicking, she’s sold on the idea.

In the end, Buonamici hopes to use the motivation and encouragement from her friends and family, many of whom gathered Monday night to witness her kick for the first time, making a 20-yard field goal during the span of a few hours.

And it, too, makes sense that just a few small words would fuel a young girl’s desire to be a kicker, her father saying it best, according to her mother, when he said, “You go, girl.”

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Steelers’ Spence caps lengthy comeback

    The whistle blew and Sean Spence sprinted forward, each cathartic step distancing the linebacker from the horrific knee injury that threatened to end his NFL career before it even really began.

    July 28, 2014

  • All tickets claimed for LeBron’s homecoming show

    LeBron James’ Ohio hometown says fans quickly claimed the thousands of tickets available for the homecoming event expected to be his first public appearance in the state since announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    July 28, 2014

  • FSU to hold Falcon Fantasy Camp

    Ever want to be a college football coach? Now you’ll have your chance thanks to Fairmont State University’s Falcon Fantasy Camp.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lawyer: Wife plotted to take over Sterling trust

    A lawyer argued Monday that the estranged wife of Donald Sterling plotted to strip his client from the family trust that owned the Los Angeles Clippers after the head of the NBA said she couldn’t negotiate a sale of the franchise unless she owned all the shares.

    July 28, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • Steelers’ Wheaton eyeing chance after tough rookie year

    Markus Wheaton realizes the pressure is there, but he doesn’t mind.

    July 28, 2014

  • Post 17 #7 Post 2 #12 mw.JPG Post 17 falls short in Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.
    Post 17 Fairmont is hoping that they’ve now gotten all of its bad games out of the way, falling to Post 2 Morgantown, 10-0, via a 7th inning mercy rule, crowning Morgantown Area II American Legion champions.
    After playing 18 innings the night before, Fairmont couldn’t seem to get anything going at East Fairmont High School Sunday afternoon.
    As rain clouds loomed over the field, so, too, did one settle in over Post 17’s offense, Fairmont collecting just four hits the entire game.
    “Definitely not one of our better games as a team,” Fairmont’s Austin Norman said of his team’s performance. “We’ll come up tomorrow, hit and get on the same page.”

    July 28, 2014 7 Photos

  • Harrison’s 4 hits leads Pirates past Rockies, 7-5

    Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • MLB inducts newest members into Hall of Fame

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    July 27, 2014

  • Post 17 falls short of Area II championship

    Sometimes getting a bad game out of your system is what a team needs.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos