the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, February 21, 2011

IFL Intense Kickers

We continue our look at the kickers of the Indoor Football league. 

Last week it was the United Conference. Today we conclude with the Intense Conference.

Garrett Courtney or R.P. Lopez, Allen Wranglers
Allen police office Garrett Courtney is no stranger to uniforms, but the 33-year-old is in hot pursuit of another. A phone call from Allen Wranglers head coach Chris MacKeown on Monday, January 10, informed Courtney he had been invited to the team’s pre-season training camp. "I’m absolutely thrilled to death for the opportunity to kick for a professional team and a team in the community for which I work," he said.
Wingate University: Lopez had two conference game-winning kicks this season, one against Lenoir-Rhyne and the other against Carson-Newman. On the 2010 season, Lopez hit eight-of-nine field goals and 54-for-54 extra points. His 54 extra points are a new school record for PATs in a season. On Oct. 16, Lopez kicked a career-high four field goals (32, 23, 29 and 27 yards) as the Bulldogs defeated Tusculum College 33-27. On the same day, he set the school record for points in a single game by a kicker with 15.
Brett Owens, Amarillo Venom
Owens is a local product, having gone to Amarillo High. Senior year statistics: Made 36 of 40 PAT kicks. Averaged 50.5 yards on 50 kickoffs and had touchbacks seven times. Made six field goals, with three of those between 40-49 yards.
??? Bricktown Brawlers

Zeke Arevalo or Daniel Lee, West Texas Roughnecks
Arevalo returned to the Roughnecks in 2009 after taking several years off to pursue his college degree. In 2009, Arevalo hit 10-of-28 field goals during the regular season including 50-of-70 extra points made. Arevalo, at one point, made 14 consecutive extra points during the '09 season and was named IFL Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 16 of the IFL season after going 2-for-2 in field goals and 5-of-7 in extra points against Corpus Christi.
Lee began his college career at Vanderbilt and then transferred to Nebraska: “He’s gone coast to coast to participate in kicking camps," said Ron Litchfield, head coach at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo., where Lee played in 2002 and 2003. “He’s very accurate, very diligent." As a senior at Park Hill South, he made four field goals for a team that seldom tried them, Litchfield said. Nevertheless, Lee earned all-conference and all-district honors.
Sergio Velasco or Michael Navarro, Arizona Adrenaline
Back in 2005, Velasco contributed to Eastern Arizona College's upset win over Dixie State with field goals of 34 and 41 yards.
Josh Arauco or Rocky Stevens, Colorado Ice
"Josh is an incredible story. Maybe the worst college kicker that I've ever seen as a freshman. Lacked the leg strength, lacked the timing and the consistency. Everything. But he probably has the best work ethic of anybody that I've ever been around, and he worked himself into being one of the best kickers in college football." - Steve Roberts, Arkansas State head coach and special teams coordinator
During his time at Black Hills State University, Stevens was an NAIA All-American in 2005 and was named Dakota Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week in 2006 following the game in which the Yellow Jackets clinched their first ever conference title.
One other noticeable difference at this weekend's Cavs camp will be the addition of kickers as both 46-year-old Ron Gullberg of Casper and Buffalo's Travis Atter, a recent graduate of Chadron State, will compete for the position. The Cavs went without a kicker on the roster for years, with [former QB Matt] Strand handling the kickoff duties. [Head coach Dan] Maciejczak said he expects both Gullberg and Atter to make the final roster. "Unless one doesn't do a good job I'm probably going to keep both of them," Maciejczak said. "But I have the utmost confidence in both those guys."
Rett Thibodeaux, Fairbanks Grizzlies
Thibodeaux, a native of LaPorte, Texas, was announced as the team’s new kicker Friday. “Every time we’d get close to signing a kicker, they’d get signed by a CFL (Canadian Football League) or AFL (Arena Football League) team,” Robert Fuller, in his first season as Grizzlies head coach, said during a press conference Friday. “I knew Rett from Bismarck, but I didn’t know he had such a strong junior and senior season.” Fuller, although impressed with Thibodeaux’s seasons with the Marauders, said it’s the 23-year-old’s attitude that sold him. “It’s Rett’s personality and demeanor,” Fuller said. “He doesn’t ever get rattled. I saw him through ups and downs, and he never changes. His highs aren’t too high, and his lows aren’t too low. He’s steady.”
Dan Kleckner, Kent Predators
Video link above: A few of Kleckner FG's from the 2010 IFL Football season for the Predators.
Gary Cismesia, Tri-Cities Fever
Cismesia might be one of the last players the Fever signed before training camp opens, but he is one of the most important. Cismesia is that all-important kicker that always seems to play a vital role in indoor football games. Cismesia is a former all-ACC kicker at Florida State, and holds the conference record for most field goals in a season and the longest field goal in ACC history, records he set in 2007. His kick against Florida at the end of the first half from 60 yards still stands as the ACC longest field goal.
Scott Thomsen, Wenatchee Valley Venom
Thomsen, has played for a handful of semi-pro and pro teams, primarily in the Northern Utah circuit - both indoors and outdoors. In 2010, he spent a partial season playing in Washington state for the Wenatchee Valley Venom of the AIFA (American Indoor Football Association) where he quickly gained a fan base and became known for his strong leg and consistent touchbacks or "unos". Though, he didn't play a full season, he made a huge contribution to the team and he tied the record of 24 unos in just half a season. In 2009, Thomsen played for the Utah Valley Thunder of the AIFA, where he kicked 54 extra-points and six field goals.

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