This fall, Mo Isom is trying out for LSU’s football team as a kicker, and would like to prove that her athletic ability outshines the fact that she is a woman. She has already proven to be resilient after overcoming personal struggles and experiencing tragedy:
In Isom’s family, her mom and her sister were ‘brains.’ She and her dad were ‘hearts.’ They were also giants (He was 6-foot-4, 300 pounds). Together, they worked with Special Olympians, tossed the football in the front yard, and whiled away Saturdays watching SEC football. They butted heads when she hit high school, and things got worse when Isom stopped eating. The more secrets she kept from her father, the less she could bear being around him. By college, however, she says she was back to being ‘the epitome of a daddy’s girl.’ But from a distance she couldn’t see how her absence had worn on him or how other, unspoken weights had left him lethargic and cold.
Spring passed. So did summer. Fall arrived, and with it, Isom’s freshman season. It took only two games before she showed up on ESPN.
Early in the second half of a home game against BYU, a foul was called just outside the goalkeeper’s box. Isom waved off her teammate so she could take the free kick. This was why she’d been recruited, after all. Not just for her defense in goal, but also for her leg.
She stepped back, struck the ball, and as she watched it, she thought, Whoa. It sailed over the awaiting players and landed just in front of the goalkeeper’s box. The opposing keeper rushed forward, but she misjudged the ball’s trajectory, then leapt as it bounced over her head.