the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Southern Kicking, part 1

We've already previewed this year's kickers in the UIFL, the CIFL, the IFL, and the AFL. From an indoor perspective, that leaves us with just the SIFL (Southern Indoor Football League). Starting at the beginning of the alphabet, following is the first half of the kickers.

Abilene Ruff Riders, Craig Wissler (West Virginia State)
We spoke to Craig and discovered the road to Abilene passes through Erie, "I just finished up my senior season in college in 2010. The indoor game really interests me so I went up to a tryout in Erie Pennsylvania. The coach already had a kicker there, but I had a really good tryout (14 of 15 PATs and 4 of 4 FGs, so he decided to call up his buddy Coach Fox [the Rough Riders defensive coordinator]. We talked and they brought me in…. One thing I’m learning is that kicking here is different than the outdoor game. So far getting adjusted to the small goal posts hasn’t been too difficult. It’s the same kick; you just have to be a little bit more accurate. As far as the ceilings go, our ceiling at our arena is a little bit low, so adjusting to driving the kickoff a little bit more than you would as far as hang time is pretty much the main difference. We also do a lot more onside kicks, so those have to be crisp versus the outdoor game. Those are the main differences that I’ve encountered so far."
Alabama Hammers, Kenny Spencer (University Of North Alabama)
We spoke to Kenny, a.k.a. Trick Shot King, regarding his road to the SIFL, "They were actually trying to get my roommate to play with them and he is a QB. They talked him into going to a work out, then he asked coach do you have a kicker. He said no, so I went to the tryout, which I just came out fresh from my Titans work out. We arrived at the workout and I kicked 2 onside kicks and it was a wrap, lol. Then that's the day I became a Hammer!... This league is no joke, we have players that can play in all areas. The only thing that I dislike right now is not being able to kick off into the net. I have to place the ball high and in front of the boards. It's what it is though. I'm just really excited for our first game on Sat. March 19th!"
Albany Panthers, Wes Virgilio (Victor Valley JC)
"The other addition is Wes Virgilio, a kicker with some rather large shoes to fill. Juan Bongarra — who was not only a fan favorite, but arguably as good or better than any kicker in the SIFL — was so good that he has moved up to Arena 1 Football and is playing for Tulsa this season. 'I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I think I can do it,’ said Virgilio, who was a kicker with Albany’s former arena team, the South Georgia Wildcats in 2007. He brings a strong leg and a penchant for kicking high bouncing on-side kicks."
Carolina Speed, Bruce Reinecker (West Liberty State College)
"Bruce is an established indoor football veteran and a former Arena Football League kicker with the N.Y. Dragons and Chicago Rush. He played in the Arena Football League, AF2, American Indoor Football Association, United Football League and the National Indoor Football League. He holds several indoor kicking records at the AF2 level in addition to being a two time AF2 all-star recipient."
Columbus Lions, Austin Miller (Army)
After being the starting kicker for the U.S. Military Academy from 2003-2004 and 2006, Capt. Austin Miller said had no intentions of pursuing a career in professional football. He loved the Army too much. When he ventured across the street from his home to Doughboy Stadium during last fall’s Doughboy Classic, he had no idea he would have the chance to be the new place-kicker for the Columbus Lions. 'I live right across the street from the stadium and one day I just walked across to check out practice (for the Doughboy Classic) and I ran into John Hargrove,' Miller said. Hargrove is part-owner of the Columbus Lions.... Gibson invited Miller to a practice session in December to test out his leg and his accuracy. 'I ran him through some kicking drills and we charted him,' Gibson said. 'He kicked pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised.' Gibson called Miller that night to tell him he wanted him to kick for the Lions this season. 'My first reaction was, ‘Can I really do this?’ Miller said. 'I think I was worried I was going to stretch myself too thin. My wife wanted me to play because she didn’t know me in college. She was excited about it.' "
Corpus Christi Hammerheads, Darren Brown (Wofford College)
"Brown’s legal practice will continue to take a back seat to his love for sports and his entrepreneurial spirit. Darren owns and manages both SoccerZone South Austin and ASA (Austin Sports Arena), providing a unique perspective and that allows him to think outside the box in formulating solutions to challenges that arise."
Erie Explosion, Shon Rowser (Western Carolina)
"The veteran kicker returns to Erie for the 2011 season. Rowser joined Erie for part of the 2010 season and immediately made his presence known. He was 5 of 9 on field goals and 14 of 18 on pats, and averaged 48.1 yards on 27 kickoffs. A reliable veteran kicker with a strong leg, Rowser has kicked for the Raleigh Rebels, Erie RiverRats, and the Augusta Spartans where he helped his team to the 2007 WIFL Championship."
Fayetteville Force, Derek Scott (Tennessee Tech)
"I have played indoor football for several teams: Florida Knights NIFL, Osceola Ghoastriders WIFL, Florence Phantoms AIFA and the Harrisburg Stampede AIFA. I am currently signed with the Fayetteville Force. I do not have the big leg as some of the others kickers in the league, but am usually toward the top in most kicking stats."

No comments:

Post a Comment