Just one of 'guys,' Littlefield gets kick out of footballBAHS senior also plays for girls soccer squad this fall
Belfast — Ashley Littlefield clearly has gotten a kick out of her senior year thus far at Belfast Area High School.
Not only can Littlefield be found roaming the field as a co-captain and center back for the Lion girls soccer team, she has been known to boot another ball around Dennis “Bear” Bryant field quite regularly as well.
Littlefield is the place kicker for the Belfast football team, which is 3-3 on the season following a 43-8 homecoming victory over Old Town on Oct. 11.
Through six games, Littlefield is 17-of-20 on extra-point attempts, including 5-of-5 against the Coyotes. Two of her three misses this season were blocked.
While she has yet to attempt a field goal, the 5-foot-8-inch Littlefield has plenty of leg strength, which she has proven with her extra-point attempts this season.
“They haven't been little squeakers,” said veteran Lion football coach Chris Bartlett. “She's kicking them 20 or 30 yards through the uprights. She's kicking field-goal distance.”
As the story goes, Littlefield hit the football field following a girls soccer practice last fall, in her junior year, and, as a bit of a lark, starting kicking extra points with a few of the Lion football players.
“It was kind of a joke [at first],” said girls soccer coach Chris Lavalle. “She was just messing around kind of a, 'I can do that better than you' -kind of thing and so one day after we were done practicing she went up there [to the football practice].”
“So I'm down there [at football practice] and someone comes running up to the fence here and says, 'Hey you gotta come check this out,' " said Bartlett. “So I get about three quarters of the way up the hill and I see this ball just towering through the air. So I just figured, 'Wow, [Lion football player] Marlin [Hansen] really got a hold of that one.'”
As it turned out, it was Littlefield booting the ball into the stratosphere.
“Football coach came up to me after that and said, 'I'll see you at tryouts next year,' ” said Littlefield. “So that's how it came about.”
Bartlett, who also is the school's softball coach, said Littlefield told him last year she planned on coming out for football the following fall.
Bartlett was skeptical, but once softball season arrived, Littlefield, who also is the team's starting pitcher, was persistent.
“I started going to the summer training sessions and getting in shape with the boys and I just kind of became part of the team," Littlefield said.
While there was some trepidation from the onset from some of the Lion players, they quickly warmed to Littlefield.
Bartlett said Littlefield took part in a ball-carrying drill and was hit hard several times by her teammates “and she popped right up each time.”
“After that point, she's been one of the 'guys' ever since,” he said. “She proved she was for real and she could hang with them and they've been blocking their butts off for her [extra-point kicks].”
“I've pretty much known all of them since I was in fourth grade, so they're kind of like brothers to me,” said Littlefield of her teammates. “They call me 'bro.' It's like they've let me into their little brotherhood. It's like a family, just like my soccer team.”
Football games typically are in the evenings and soccer games in the afternoons, so Littlefield has never had to choose one sport over the other, though she has had to drive to an away football game after playing a home soccer game twice this season.
Football and soccer practices usually overlap so Littlefield will go to soccer practice and then to the remainder of a football practice. She has not played in the field during a football game this fall, though she does work as a running back during practices.
The team's punter and regular kicker for kickoffs is Alex Canning.
For Littlefield, the experience has been rewarding, particularly given the success of the football team, which should be playoff-bound this season.
“It's been great,” said Lavalle. “She's a pretty darn good field-goal kicker.”
“It's been really neat to watch,” said Bartlett. “It's been a phenomenal experience.”
Associate Sports Director
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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