With a strong soccer background, Olivia Viney would have been the last person to conceive that she would make Michigan high school football in history. No less at Detroit’s renowned Ford Field. Through the inspiration of her father, Chris, a teacher at Algonac High School and her older brother Tyler, a former field goal kicker for Marine City High School Mariners, she would become the second member of the Viney family to kick at the high school.
No stranger to Mariners athletics (she has competed for the soccer team), she spent one year on the junior varsity squad. She would earn a role as a starter on the 2013 edition of the varsity team. Playing for head coach Ron Glodich, she would connect on 54 of 58 point-after-attempts (93 percent), while setting a school record with 61 extra-points.
As one of the elite high school teams in the Macomb Area Conference contender, the 5-foot-2 kicker found her season culminate with a spot in the MHSAA Finals. Held at Ford Field, site of Super Bowl XL, Viney earned a championship ring as the Mariners prevailed by a 49-35 mark in the Division 4 State Title Game victory over Grand Rapids South Christian high.
The victory was one of redemption for the Mariners program as they had been defeated in the 2011 title game. Adding to the drama was the fact that the starting quarterback had moved from another town, and the previous season’s starter had to move to another position. It is the program’s second title since 2007.
Before the game even started, Viney had made history by simply becoming the first female to compete in a Michigan high school football state championship. Kicking seven extra points in the title game not only tied the MHSAA Title Record, but it earned her national recognition with a feature in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd section.
While her seven extra points also broke a new school record for the Mariners, it was the first extra point that may have had the most meaning. Having logged said point in the second quarter of the contest, it marked the first time that a female football player contributed a point in the history of the event.