Moughler leaves lasting legacy at Eastside

June 4, 2017

BUTLER, Ind. - When Emma Moughler accepted her diploma Sunday, it marked perhaps the most storied athletic career of an Eastside High School student-athlete.

Moughler is a rare and unconventional four-sport athlete who competed in volleyball, basketball, track & field and football. Yes, football, an IHSAA boys sport.

Moughler’s historic season as Eastside's first girl football player started as a just some fun at track practice last spring.

“[Track coach Seth Wilcox] was like, ‘Why don’t you kick a few,’” Moughler recounts playing with footballs during track practice. “Then he took a video of me kicking one, and sent it to [football coach Mike Eshbach].”

Eschbach, who coached Eastside football from 2008 to 2016, invited her to join the team as a placekicker.

“I was kind of surprised,” Moughler adds. “They’ve never been discriminating. They’ve always accepted it, and moved on; because they know I’m good.” Moughler had previously helped the football team by running the endzone cameras during games. She attributes her kicking ability to her days as a middle school soccer player.

Moughler was named All-Northeast Corner Conference and All-State in football; and the Blazers won the NECC Small Division championship. All the while, Moughler split her fall sports schedule with volleyball, in which she also earned All-Conference recognition.

“What makes this so special for her and for us is these opportunities don’t come around very often,” Eshbach says. “And with her ability, it makes it even more special.”

“She does a great job balancing,” volleyball head coach Jordan Straus says. “The girls look to her as a role model. Which I think has transferred over to the football field. Encouraging the young girls if you work hard, you can do this.”

Moughler’s athletic success extend to the the basketball court and track, as well. She leaves Eastside with individual sectional titles in the high jump and 400-meter relay. As a high jumper, she was the school’s first girls track athlete to qualify for the state meet in more than 20 years.

“If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” girls basketball coach Shane Conway says. “She will not be forgotten. People will remember her. She will be a good story. She will be a good example.”

She also won Eastside homecoming queen, and works weekends at an Auburn restaurant.

“It’s been very overwhelming. I didn’t know how big this would be,” Moughler beams. "I knew this would be hard, but I did it anyways. I like that thrill of knowing I’m the first girl or the kicker on the team. I just want them to be doing what they love. I’m definitely doing what I love.”

Moughler will study at IPFW starting next fall. While college sports are not in her future, she plans to study nursing.

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