Photo provided by Gianna Bennett
Gianna Bennett is a kicker who stands at 6-foot-1 and plays for Des Moines Christian. In 2022 season she had 5 touchbacks and made 28 PATs. She is currently rated as a 4-Star by Kohl’s Kicking. She is known for having several kickoffs over 60+ yards and hit a 55-yarder at the Western Winter Showcase Camp. She helped raise over $10,000 for Every Kick Count in 2022. We caught up with Bennett to talk about her life and her football skills.
1. How much does it mean to you that you raised over $10,000 for Every Kick Counts?
It has been awesome to do something that I love and focus on something bigger than myself as I do it. Count the Kicks is a great organization and I have loved raising money for them. It gives even more purpose to what I am doing on and off the field.
2. Heading into the offseason what is your biggest goal you want to achieve?
I want to work on being the best kicker that I can be. I want to continue focusing on ball contact and getting stronger in the weight room.
3. You have been receiving a lot of interest from some big schools, what is the biggest thing that has struck out to you?
Even though most coaches haven’t had a girl on their team before, all coaches have been open to the idea of having a girl kicker. They care more about having players that can get the job done on the field.
4. Who is the football player you look up to?
My biggest role model in football is Keith Duncan. He had a very successful college career which is something that I look up to and hope to do myself. He loves the game and loves coaching which is also something that I would like to do when I finish playing. He has coached me not only on the football side of the game but also on the mental side of the game. He is somebody who has helped me to believe in myself and improve my craft.
5. Kicking 55 yarder is no joke, what is the further you have made in practice?
55 yards is the longest field goal I have made. When I practice I focus on ball contact and I spend a lot of time in the weight room. That way I can put the time in the weight room and ball contact together to make longer field goals.
6. Obviously there is a stereotype out there that football is a man sport, how can you or anyone stop that stigma?
I think there is a stereotype that football is a man’s sport because there haven’t been many girls to play football. I think by showing that it can be done, those barriers are slowly being broken as people realize that girls can play football too.
7. When did you realize that you could be a kicker for a D1 program?
When I started training with Keith Duncan, he told me that if I kept working at it, I could be a successful kicker. Then last summer when I went to college camps, I realized that I could hang with the guys. As I have continued working on my craft and putting time in the weight room, I have continued going to camps and have been able to see my progress over time.
8. What is one thing coaches should know about you?
I believe that if given the opportunity, I can succeed on the field and help whatever team I play for succeed. I also strive to be the hardest worker on whatever team I am a part of and hold myself to the standard that I will not be outworked. I believe I just need the opportunity.
9. What is your favorite restaurant in Des Moines?
My go-to restaurant is Chick-Fil-A.
10. Do you call it pop or soda?
I call it pop.