Savana Melton strode to the 50-yard line with all the confidence in the world.
Melton, a North Little Rock football player, was wearing her pads, jersey and helmet in hand.
She didn’t look much different than the other captains last Friday when the Charging Wildcats took on Little Rock Catholic for Homecoming.
Well she did look a little different with the Homecoming Queen sash draped across her shoulder pads and the Queen’s crown atop her blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail she’s worn all season.
There’s no record book for this. There’s no way to confirm that Melton is the first female football player in the state’s history who was also the school’s Homecoming Queen the same season but let’s go with it and say that’s the case.
But she’s isn’t the first one nationally. At least two other states – Texas and Michigan – had female players who were also Homecoming Queens this season. Even.
The Beaumont, Texas Enterprise reported that Claire Jeffress was the Homecoming Queen for Pearland’s Dawson High School last Friday night. Jeffress is also the team’s kicker and has been a varsity player for this and last season.
In Michigan, it was linebacker Alicia Woollcott at Grand Blanc who was named, in a story published by Detroit Free Press on Oct. 12. Woolcott is also the captain of the school’s weightlifting team and was a state medalist last season on her 165-pound weight class. She squats an eye-popping 300 pounds and benches 175 pounds, more than her bodyweight of 165.
Still, rare company.
Melton is also a player. A legit college prospect at soccer and football.
She put her foot on display as North Little Rock routed Catholic, 51-17, as she was four of five on point after attempts and also kicked a 26-yard field goal. The extra point miss was her first this season.
North Little Rock put on a multi-faceted offensive show to stay unbeaten on the season at 7-0 and 4-0 in the 7A-Central. In addition to Melton, quarterback David Chapple threw for three touchdowns, all too different targets. Deontae Montgomery, Andrew Martin and Aaron Griffin all had scoring grabs as Chapple threw for 227 yards on an 8-for-12 night.
Tyler Day rushed for two touchdowns and also adding scores was running back Brandon Thomas and Abram Terry.
As a team, North Little Rock amassed 566 yards of total offense. No player topped 100 yards rushing but Terry was closest with 89 yards on the night. That total was helped with a 66-yard rush that also accounted for his touchdown.
North Little Rock is the No. 2 team in the state in Class 7A by Hootens Arkansas Football, just behind conference mate Bryant. The two teams play Oct. 27 at Bryant in a genuine showdown.
But first, North Little Rock hosts Fort Smith Northside this Friday. The Grizzlies are 2-5 on the year and coming off a 49-29 loss to Conway last Friday. Once a power, Northside has hit some hard times of late and have only once in the conference, a 35-20 home triumph against Little Rock Central.
Kickoff this Friday is set for 7 p.m.