the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Big Kickers on Campus, 2011 week 9

A summary of notable kicking during the ninth week of the 2011 college football season:

Sophomore kicker Zeb Miller kicked a 54 yard field goal with 1:52 left to lift North Dakota to a 27-25 victory over Northern Colorado.
“Two or three different coaches came over to me and were like, ‘Hey, we’re going to put you in position, you’ve got to forget about those two [missed] kicks and hit it between the pipes because we’re going to need a game-winner.’ They had complete confidence in me and put me out there, and I did what they expected me to do.
I got a great snap and a great hold from my snapper and holder. The line blocked great, and I’ve got to have all those parts before it even gets to me. And then after I hit it, I heard a sound, so I imagine it maybe got tipped a little bit, so I was a little worried after that, but it somehow found its way in the pipes, and I was very, very excited.”
Junior kicker Jack Griffin hit a 20 yard field goal with 3:31 remaining in regulation to tie the game and the made a 22 yarder in overtime to give Florida International a 23-20 win over Troy.

Sophomore kicker Patton Chambers’ field goal with 14:54 left in the game gave Miles a 9-7 win over Stillman.

Junior kicker Carlos Lopez hits a 25 yard field goal as time expired to give Carson-Newman College a 27-24 win over Brevard.
"I knew that it was so close, I was getting mentally ready. During halftime I talked to Coach [Sparks] and I said I think this game is going to come down to a field goal and I'm ready."
Sophomore kicker James Langford made a 39 yard field goal with 36 seconds remaining to give Cal Poly a 27-24 win over South Dakota.

Freshman kicker Sean Ianno's 32 yard field goal in overtime gave University of Texas at San Antonio a 17-14 victory against Georgia State.

Freshman kicker Jesse Roy hit a 24 yard field goal in overtime to give Western Kentucky a 31-28 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
"It feels great to contribute to everything. I really just tried to keep my head straight. Once it left my foot it felt great, but I got to give credit to my line for giving me the time."
Senior kicker Kenton Chun hit a 35 yard field goal with 32 seconds left to give Hawaii a 16-14 win Idaho.

Junior kicker Johnny Garcia made a 47 yard field goal with 1:47 left in the game to give Hastings a 19-17 win over Doane.

Sophomore kicker Zach Hocker hit a 42 yard field goal with 6:53 remaining to give Arkansas a 31-28 win over Vanderbilt.
"I really thank Coach for having the confidence in me. I hope to get the shot at these 50-yarders an fortunately enough we did today and fortunately it went through for us. It was an awesome win."
Sophomore kicker Jarod Brown's 25 yard field goal with 12:14 remaining proved to be the game winner in Old Dominion's 23-20 victory over James Madison.

Freshman kicker Robert Sinegra hit a 23 yard field goal with 4:09 remaining to lift William Paterson to a 17-15 win over Morrisville State.

Senior kicker Andrew Rogowski made a 34 yard field goal as time expired to give Ithaca a 13-10 win over Frostburg State.

Freshman kicker Morgan Porter hit a 24 yard field goal as time expired to lift Saint Vincent to a 17-14 win over Waynesburg.

Junior kicker Max Martin made a 22 yard field goal in overtime, giving Wayne State a 44-41 triumph over Upper Iowa.

Sophomore kicker Alexander Norocea provided all the scoring (field goals of 39 & 42 yards) in Brown's 6-0 win over Penn.

Senior placekicker Daniel Vasil provided all the scoring (field goals of 33 & 29 yards) in Case Western Reserve's 6-0 win over Chicago.

If we missed someone that should be on the above list, please let us know!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lou Groza Award 2011 Semi-Finalists

Yesterday the Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced the 20 semi–finalists for the 2011 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award:
  • Drew Alleman, LSU
  • Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia
  • Chris Boswell, Rice
  • Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
  • Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson
  • Anthony Fera, Penn State
  • Erik Folk, Washington
  • Andrew Furney, Washington State
  • Jack Griffin, FIU
  • Andre Heidari, USC
  • Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
  • Brett Maher, Nebraska
  • Mike Meyer, Iowa
  • Jimmy Newman, Wake Forest
  • Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
  • Jeremy Shelley, Alabama
  • Caleb Sturgis, Florida
  • Jake Weiclaw, Miami
  • Jordan Williamson, Stanford
From these semi-finalists, three finalists will be selected as voted on by:
  • Division 1 head coaches and sports information directors 
  • former Groza winners and NFL kickers
  • national, regional and local football writers and others
The finalists will be honored at the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet on December 6th in West Palm Beach. The winner will be announced live on the nationally televised ESPN College Football Awards Show on December 8th.
"When a kid asks you for an autograph, you better give it to him. If not, I'll make you do it."
- Lou "The Toe" Groza

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mind Over Foot, part 7: The Mind-Body Connection

When we spoke to Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff last year, the conversation inevitably turned to the mental aspects of kicking:
"Sports psychologists will always tell you that ‘you can’t block out, you can only focus in’. When you focus in on something so much, then you naturally block out all the other distractions. In football, coaches because they feel like they don’t know how to talk to kickers, will always say, ‘oh, don’t worry about all this stuff, just kick the ball’. Instead they should say, ‘just focus on the kicking and the rest will take care of itself’. They try to tell you to block it out. Well, you can’t block it out. It’s impossible – you’re mind just doesn’t work like that. If they tell you what to focus on, try to instill a little bit of confidence, they wouldn’t have to worry about all the extra stuff."
Cundiff practices focusing - successfully, as evidenced by a Pro Bowl season last year. He also teaches focusing - successfully, as evidenced by one of his students, Illinois senior kicker Derek Dimke:
"I really just stay relaxed and kind of focus on what I'm doing and my job and my teammates' jobs. You can't put too much pressure on yourself.... I learned most of it is visual through Billy, making sure you stay relaxed in all situations. Don't worry about the things you can't worry about. You have to trust yourself and your ability. It sounds very simple, but when you're on the field trying to apply it, it's a lot more difficult."
How important is mental focus to physical results? Very important, and that is probably an understatement. Sports psychologist Karlene Sugarman, M.A. elaborates:
"The mind-body connection is a very powerful one. For everything you think in your mind, your body has a reaction, regardless of whether it is real or imagined. For example, have you ever had a bad dream? Usually, you will wake up and your heart is racing, you are sweating and very agitated, even though all you were doing was sleeping. But, in your mind there was something bad going on and your body was reacting to it. Here’s another example: if you are home alone and you hear a noise and interpret it as the wind, you are fine; but if you interpret it as a prowler, your fight or flight response takes over and you become fearful, your heart begins going a mile a minute, your eyes dilate and you are scared. These are just a few examples of how strong the connection is between your mind and your body. With this premise, it becomes unmistakable how necessary it is to train both the mind and body for peak performance.
Athletes spend so much time physically practicing to get an edge on the competition. Yet what teams and athletes can really do to get an edge is right in front of their nose, or more accurately, right above their shoulders! You hear the same thing all the time, 'Sports is 90-95% mental.' Athletes and coaches at all levels say it, but how many of them do something about it? It may be common knowledge, but it is not always common practice. Maybe they don't have the time, maybe they don't have the resources, or maybe down deep they don't really believe it. Whatever the reason, the fact remains the same, they are not utilizing their most powerful resource, the mind. Most athletes fatigue mentally before they fatigue physically, due to the fact that their mind is not in as good of shape as their bodies."
The integral relationship between the mental and the physical applies to kicking in any sport, as evidenced during recent festivities in New Zealand:
At this Rugby World Cup, there's been no shortage of quirky place-kicking routines. Some players, like Irish kicker Ronan O'Gara, incorporate graceful turns into his. Others look as if they're playing a flute, or dancing a jig. With each World Cup that passes, it seems the place kicking routines get a little more, well, idiosyncratic. But these rehearsed routines can also bring success. [Jonny] Wilkinson has been unusually out of form with the boot, successful with less than half his shots at goal at this World Cup, but he remains within striking distance of becoming the most prolific scorer ever in international rugby.So what is the rationale behind these routines?
Ken Hodge, an associate professor of physical education at the University of Otago who also trains top athletes to help enhance their mental skills, said it has little to do with biomechanics. "From the outside, it looks like a physical routine -- which it is -- but it's much more than that," he said. "Kicking is a lot more controllable than general play. It's a repeatable skill. The challenge is to maintain concentration and let the body do what it's good at." He likened goal kicking to golf, a sport in which many players have pre-shot routines. Hodge said the physical routines are developed through trial and error and help players stick to parallel mental routines. He said it's imperative for kickers to eliminate thoughts that might intrude -- like the crowd noise, a recent muffed play, or self-doubt. "It's all about keeping the mind quiet," he said. "It's keeping the chatter out of it and sticking to useful, positive thoughts."

Monday, October 24, 2011

NFL Week Seven: Sun and Fun

Yesterday's NFL games featured two kickers that each continued their success streaks, and another two kickers that each overcame a pair of misses.

Down 15-0 late in the fourth quarter, the Broncos rallied to tie the Dolphins, and then won the game in overtime on a 52 yard field goal by Matt Prater. But it was his other attempts on the day that Prater discussed afterward:
“I felt like I needed to redeem myself after missing the first two field goals [from 49 and 43 yards in the first half]. My team depends on me to make every kick, and I expect to make them, too.... I actually remember the first two more than the last one that I made. I had a good pre-game. The two kicks I miss the whole day just happened to be during the game.”
Although he couldn't watch it due to a great ball of fire, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey hit a career long 51 yarder in the Cowboys 34-7 win over the Rams.
“Honestly, I was kind of more worried about the sun when I went out there. The sun was right in my face so I didn’t pay attention to how far it was. I didn’t get to see it go through because I was looking right into the sun.”
Browns kicker Phil Dawson had two of his field goal attempts blocked by Seattle. He also made field goals of 52 and 53 yards, which were Cleveland's only points in the game. But that was enough, as the Browns won 6-3 over the Seahawks.
"It was the prettiest two-for-four day that we’ll ever have, so it’s nice to help the team win a game, even though it was an ugly game.... We’ll take it. There is no room for description on the scoreboard.”
Mason Crosby made field goals of 39, 45, 24 & 58 yards in Green Bay's 33-27 win over Minnesota. The latter was a new team record for longest field goal, eclipsing the 56 yard mark he had achieved twice before. Like all the Packers' recent placekicks, it went exactly as planned:
“I like when it’s a long field goal and we don’t hesitate and we just call it up and I’m able to go out and go through my normal process. We went out, got set, and I drilled it home. It was fun.... How the operation is, it’s just so awesome right now. I just do my thing, take my steps, line it up and hit it and just trust it. It’s nice to be able to celebrate a 58-yarder as soon as it comes off my foot.”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Big Kickers on Campus, 2011 week 8

A summary of notable kicking during the eighth week of the 2011 college football season:

Freshman kicker Ty Long hit a 40 yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining to lift UAB to a 26-24 win over Central Florida.

Junior kicker Lee Lukasevic made a 29 yard field goal with 1:30 left in the game to lead Ohio Northern to a 24-21 victory over John Carroll.

Sophomore kicker John Macomber's 30 yard field goal in the third quarter proved to be the game winner as Holy Cross won 16-13 over Bucknell.

Senior kicker Tom Lynch set an NAIA record with 21 points (four field goals and nine extra-points) in Saint Xavier's (Ill) 75-33 victory over Taylor (Ind).

Freshman kicker Trever Austin hit a 31 yard field goal (his fourth FG of the day) as time expired to give Gardner-Webb a 26-24 win over Coastal Carolina.

Senior kicker Daniel Vasil made a 31-yard field goal in overtime as Case Western Reserve won 24-21 over Wooster.

Sophomore kicker Eric Kindler hit a 17 yard field goal with 1:18 remaining to give Wisconsin-Whitewater a 20-17 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Sophomore kicker Zach Litchfield made a 24 yard field goal by with three seconds left in the game to give Wisconsin-Platteville a 34-31 win over Wisconsin-River Falls.

If we missed someone that should be on the above list, please let us know!

Monday, October 17, 2011

NFL Week Six & CFL Week Sixteen: Field Goals Galore

While long distance field goals were all the rage last week, this week was all about quantity. Two NFL games featured a heavy dose of field goals by the winning team. Two CFL games featured numerous three pointers for both the winning and the losing sides.

In Tampa Bay, Connor Barth kicked four field goals (48, 42, 42 & 38 yards) in the Buccaneers 26-20 win over the Saints. He was excited afterward (and also appears to be excited about next week's game which will be played on the other side of the Atlantic in Wembley Stadium).
"What a great win tonight! Thanks to all the fans for packing Raymond James! First in the division baby! Can you say London tomm."
In Montreal, both kickers made four field goals during the Alouettes 27-25 win over the Tiger-Cats. For visiting Hamilton, Justin Medlock was good from 43, 38, 31 & 31 yards. For the victorious home team, Sean Whyte connected from 45, 35, 33 and 42 yards. The ball apparently suffered some damage on the 45 yarder:
"No lie. The 45 yarder, the ball popped. That's why the equipment guys told me to keep it."
In Baltimore,  Billy Cundiff was busy in the Ravens 29-14 win over the Texans. Just over half the points came from his five field goals (43, 48, 25, 33 & 40 yards). It tied the team record for field goals in a game -- something he did once before and that Matt Stover did four times.
"Matt set the bar really high for many years here. My job is to try to raise it and continue the great tradition he established here."
In Saskatchewan, if you blinked you probably missed seeing a field goal. For the Roughriders, Chris Milo's six field goals (37, 49, 21, 45, 30 & 32 yards) were not enough as visiting B.C. won 29-18. For the Lions, Paul McCallum kicked five field goals (51, 23, 10, 31 & 28 yards). It was one more game for the veteran kicker in the continuation of an impressive season and an impressive career. He recently commented on the resulting talk of where he ranks among the leagues all-time kickers:
"I don't think like that. If I think of anything, it's being the best that I can be. I don't say I want to be the best of everybody who's ever played. I mean, I was a soccer player growing up. I didn't pay much attention to football until I was 20 years old. It would be pretty disrespectful for me to think that way, or say anything about the great kickers who came before me. I just want to be the best I can be. It's up to everyone else, if they want to, to give their opinion of me."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Big Kickers on Campus, 2011 week 7

A summary of notable kicking during the seventh week of the 2011 college football season:

Senior kicker Gregg Berkshire made a 43 yard field goal as time expired to give Ashland a 20-17 win over previously undefeated Wayne State.
"They [winds] were quite ... they were bad. I came out a little bit earlier in pregame to get a feel for it. It would be gusting in different directions at different speeds. It couldn't have just gone straight with the field to make things a lot easier. It had to be going all over the place."
Senior kicker Steven Schott's 27 yard field goal with 14:19 remaining in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner in Ball State's 23-20 win over Ohio.

Senior kicker Michael Pinkerton’s 36 yard field goal in overtime gave Mars Hill a 31-28 win over Catawba.

Fourth-year kicker Matt Falvo hit an 11 yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Ottawa a 32-30 win over Windsor.
“It’s pretty cool. Ara Tchobanian [whose career FG record Falvo surpassed] is one of my best friends and he was like a mentor to me when he was here. He had a really great career, so it’s cool to be standing there with him now.”
Sophomore kicker Davis Brackett kicked three field goals, including a 35 yard game winner as time expired, to give West Georgia a 23-21 victory over Saint Augustine's.

Senior kicker Blair Walsh hit 4-of-6 field goals (53, 28, 36 & 44 yards) in Georgia's 33-28 win over Vanderbilt.

Junior kicker Coleman Petersen made field goals (23, 34, 39 & 45 yards) in the Utah’s 26-14 win at Pittsburgh.

If we missed someone that should be on the above list, please let us know!

Monday, October 10, 2011

NFL Week Five: Long Ball Sunday

Yesterday was all about long distance in the NFL. Ten successful field goals were made from 50+ yards. For stats junkies, that is over twice the average of 4.75 long field goals per week during the first four weeks of the season. Many of the long balls came off the feet of kicking veterans - such as Neil Rackers' 54 yarder and Jay Feely's 51 yarder, just to name two to get things rolling.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Sebastian Janikowski was the largest contributor to this week's total, with kicks of 54, 55 & 50 yards. Having already joined the record book earlier this year by tying the longest kicks ever of 63 yards, he now is tied with Morten Andersen, Neil Rackers, Kris Brown and Conner Barth for most (three) 50+ yarders in one game. He commented afterward:
"It was great. The big guy's [Al Davis] watching over us.... It means a lot. He's going to be missed. Now we can move on and win the championship."
Ryan Longwell hit a 53 yarder for the Vikings. Earlier in the week, he commented on long kicks and specifically whether Janikowski's and Jason Elam's record 63 yarders should have an asterisk placed beside them since they occurred in mile high Denver as compared to Tom Dempsey's 63 yarder kicked at sea level in New Orleans:
"They all count the same. I've hit what I thought were 63-yarders from 30 yards at Lambeau in the freezing cold in my career that felt just as good to me. So I think they all count, and they all should count."
In the dome in Indianapolis, Adam Vinatieri connected from 53 yards. In the days prior to the game, he had discussed why he likes his home field kicking environment:
"There's a lot to like here," Vinatieri said. "I like my teammates, and I like kicking at Lucas Oil, where I don't have to worry about rain and wind and a crummy field, and we have great fans cheering for us."
Although Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka hit a 51 yarder yesterday, he was commenting on the other end of the spectrum earlier in the week, in an article questioning whether extra points should still be included in the game since they are very rarely missed these days:
“If you wanted to change the percentage considerably, you’d have to move it back to 30-35 yards in order to get it down near 90 percent.”
After hitting a 51 yarder for the Chargers, Nick Novak wasn't specifically discussing long or short kicks. He was discussing how it feels to once again be kicking in the NFL:
“It’s great. A couple weeks ago, I didn’t have a job, and now I’m part of something great.... It’s the maturation process. You’ve got to lick your wounds and go through the ups and downs of being an NFL kicker.”
Yesterday concluded with Packers' kicker Mason Crosby hitting a 56 yard field goal in the evening game. He specifically discussed that specific kick:
“It felt good coming off my foot. That’s one of those where you hit it, you turn and start celebrating pretty quick. Especially inside, if you feel good about it, it’s usually going to stay pretty true.”
Crosby specifically elaborated:
“We set the line before the game actually for a 58-yarder if need be. You usually set that line and don’t get an attempt from that distance. But it worked out and it was just kind of good timing. It was one of my better warmups today. I was just feeling good hitting the ball.... I’ve got to give the credit first to the guys in front of me, they’re making it easy … everything’s been right on the money. I’m just not having to think about any of that and just go out and hit the ball. It’s nice coming inside and being able to trust the conditions and go out there and hit four field goals. It seems like on the road we’re kicking a lot of field goals and scoring touchdowns at home. I’ve got to get them when I can.”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Big Kickers on Campus, 2011 week 6

A summary of notable kicking during the sixth week of the 2011 college football season:

Senior kicker Peter Alston hit a 40 yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Washington & Lee a 17-14 win over Emory & Henry.
"I’ve never had an opportunity like that before in high school or college. As a kicker, you always want the game on your feet. It was exciting to get it done."
Sophomore kicker Parker Munoz's 21 yard field goal with four seconds remaining lifted Howard to a 29-28 win over Florida A&M.

Sophomore kicker Ross Krautman hit a 21 yard field goal as time expired, giving Syracuse a 37-34 victory over Tulane.

Freshman kicker Christopher Barrick made a 19 yard field goal with ten seconds remaining to give Prairie View A&M a 23-20 victory over Southern.

Sophomore kicker D.J. Soven hit a 27 yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Towson a 31-28 win over Richmond.
"I was ready. Coach prepares us for moments like this. He got in my ear, and it wasn't even a big deal. I knew what I had to do, and I was relaxed."
Senior kicker Eric Rockwood booted a 29 yard field goal in overtime, sending Alfred University football to a 32-29 win over Hartwick.

Senior kicker Chad Monheim made a 34 yard field goal in overtime to lift St. John Fisher to a 13-10 victory over Ithaca.

Freshman kicker Scott Stanford hit a 23 yard field goal in overtime to give Saginaw Valley State a 44-41 win over Michigan Tech.

Senior kicker Jake DelVento made a 32 yard field goal with 1:16 remaining, giving Montclair State a 34-33 win over SUNY Cortland.

Sophomore kicker Austin Sweeney's 37 yard field goal in overtime gave Bluffton University a 30-27 victory over Manchester College.

Sophomore kicker Patton Chambers made an 18 yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining to give Miles College a 19-16 win over Clark Atlanta.

Freshman kicker Kevin Sheldon hit a 19 yard field goal with 2:21 left, giving Central College a 33-30 win over Buena Vista.

Junior kicker Nick Kaylor booted a 36 yard field goal as time expired, lifting Pacific Lutheran to a 20-17 victory over Whitworth.

Senior kicker Thomas Rebold hit a 23 yard field goal with 1:20 remaining to give Incarnate Word a 23-22 win over Texas A&M-Commerce.

Junior kicker Caleb Pavy hit five field goals (from 39, 30, 36, 25 & 35 yards) in Colorado Mesa's 22-3 win over Fort Lewis

Sophomore kicker Chandler Catanzaro hit five field goals (from 38, 42, 18, 20 & 47 yards) in Clemson's 36-14 win over Boston College.

If we missed someone that should be on the above list, please let us know!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011 - Quarter Finals Sunday

Sunday's pair of quarter final matches in the Rugby World Cup 2011 features four teams all from south of the equator - the defending champs South Africa v. Australia, and the host nation New Zealand v. Argentina.

As always, we focus on the players who will be handling the kicking.

South Africa - Morné Steyn
Steyn, who has been successful with 13 out of 15 kicks at goal to be well clear of other kickers at the World Cup, said he did not understand the fuss over the balls. "For me it is the same ball that we always use," he said at a press conference in the capital yesterday. "Before the tournament the guys from Gilbert came and showed us the ball to be used at the World Cup and it was no different to the one we use in Super rugby. The only difference is that it had different writing and patterns on it but the actual ball is the same. "So to me there is no difference," the usually reserved Steyn said before adding: "If it is not going well with your goal-kicking you always look for something to blame, but for me you can't blame the ball at this World Cup." That, in a nutshell, is that debate kicked sweetly into touch by the world's premier goal-kicker.
Steyn, looking ahead to Sunday's quarter-final clash with Australia at the Wellington Regional Stadium, said he would be hard pressed to continue his immaculate kicking form - but not because of the ball. "Wellington is the hardest place in the world for kickers," he said. "It has this strange swirling wind that does funny things with the ball. I am [crossing ingers] that for once we have a calm, clear day. I can't recall too many of them at this stadium." Steyn might be in luck. While rain has been falling steadily since Sunday, better weather is expected for the weekend.
Australia - James O'Connor
From the Independent:
Winning rugby’s greatest prize for an unprecedented third time remains the ultimate focus for both Australia and South Africa –– and goal-kicking at the business end of the tournament once again looms as key to lifting the Webb Ellis Cup. O’Connor rediscovered his goal-kicking mojo with a nine-from-10 return in Australia’s 68-22 dispatch of Russia in Nelson last Saturday but will be lining up shots under extreme pressure of a very different kind at the Cake Tin.
Ironically heading into the cut-throat clash with the Boks, O’Connor credited his South African kicking coach Braam Van Straaten with helping him rediscover his rhythm. “I was pretty happy with my outcome,” O’Connor said. “I did a lot of work during the week with Braam and the process is going well.”
Argentina - Felipe Contepomi & Martín Rodríguez
From the Khaleej Times:
Argentina are first and foremost looking for a performance they can be proud of when they meet New Zealand in the rugby World Cup quarter-finals this weekend, captain Felipe Contepomi said. The Pumas finished third at the last World Cup and, having never beaten New Zealand, are rank outsiders to break the All Blacks’ 17-year unbeaten run at Eden Park on Sunday. Felipe Contepomi, who needs just five points on Sunday to overtake Puma great Hugo Porta as Argentina’s all-time leading points scorer, said they would need to play the “perfect game” and enjoy more than a little luck. “We are playing against the best team in the world,” the 34-year-old said. “We have been growing match-by-match and we hope to put up a performance we can be proud of and if that leads to a win then so much better. If both teams play at 100 percent then the odds will be against us but it is sport and anything can happen in that 80 minutes.”
New Zealand - Colin Slade & Piri Weepu
From 3news:
The full glare of New Zealand's intense rugby spotlight has been on Slade since last Sunday, when the nation was shocked by the news that Dan Carter was out of the tournament after a tendon tear in his groin. Without the world's best flyhalf and the all-time highest scorer in test rugby, the tournament hosts took a major hit to their confidence in trying to end a 24-year World Cup drought. Few were fully convinced Slade was still the ideal replacement when, hours later, he gave a solid performance in the pivotal position in the 79-15 pool win over Canada. Even scrumhalf Piri Weepu, who shared the kicking duties with Slade against Canada, admitted he bought into the speculation that he might be played at flyhalf against the Pumas.
Slade said he's avoided newspapers and TV this week while his countrymen have debated his merits and otherwise. "It's an opportunity I've got to think positively about," Slade said on Friday. "I can't be burdened by (replacing Carter) because at the end of the day I've got to be excited about it. "It's what every young fellow dreams of I suppose, to play in a World Cup, albeit through the disappointment of DC's injury.
Even though coach Graham Henry declined to say who between Slade and Weepu would replace Carter as goalkicker, Slade said he was making the usual preparations to be the kicker.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011 - Quarter Finals Saturday

Saturday's two quarterfinal fixtures in the Rugby World Cup feature a pair of matches between European neighbors - Ireland v. Wales and England v. France. 

As is oft mentioned, kicking plays an increasingly important role as the tournament progresses. All of the kickers have been a topic of discussion the last few days for various reasons...

Ireland - Ronan O'Gara
From the Irish Examiner:
Gordon D’Arcy is expecting Wales to target Ronan O’Gara again in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final but the centre believes Ireland can deal with the tactic, just as they did when winning the Grand Slam in 2009. Wales coach Warren Gatland has often sent teams out to try and exploit fly-half O’Gara’s perceived defensive weaknesses, not least when Ireland went to Cardiff two years ago in search of the Slam. O’Gara had the last laugh that day, sending over the drop goal at the Millennium Stadium that delivered an Irish clean sweep for the first time since 1948, and D’Arcy said yesterday that having seen off the Welsh then, they could do it again. "This back-line has played against more or less this Welsh back-linebefore and we’ve come out on top. I don’t think it’s as if we have to go and reinvent the wheel here," the Ireland inside centre said. "Ronan and I have got a very good defensive relationship, we work well, we had a few chats yesterday and had a really, really good session. We know what’s coming, and it’s just up to us to meet it."
Wales - Rhys Priestland
From the Daily Post :
Fly-half Rhys Priestland’s individual battle with Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara promises to have a major bearing on which team progresses into a last-four meeting with England or France. And Priestland has total respect for one of Ireland’s finest international players. “O’Gara is probably one of the best kickers of the ball in the game,” he said. I have played against him a few times for the Scarlets against Munster and I have always been impressed with him, just the way he organises the game and organises the forwards. He gives Ireland a lot when he plays. We are going to have to try to manage him and make sure he doesn’t keep putting Ireland in the corners and putting us under pressure. Usually, I’ve been at the wrong end of the result when I have played against him. Hopefully, it will be different this weekend.”...
Priestland will be entrusted with goalkicking duties tomorrow, and he knows drop goals could prove critical, especially if the contest is as tight as most pundits expect. He missed a late drop goal when Wales lost 17-16 to world champions South Africa four weeks ago. “Hopefully, my (drop-goal) record goes from nil in three to one in four,” he added. “Hopefully, if it does come down to a drop-goal, I won’t make such a mess of it.

England - Toby Flood and Jonny Wilkinson
from the Telegraph, by Toby Flood:
My excitement at being asked to start Saturday’s quarter-final against France is matched only by the size of the challenge that I face to make the partnership with Jonny Wilkinson a success. It is a bold decision by England team manager Martin Johnson to start us both. We have not begun a match together since the Six Nations game against Wales in 2010, so it is important that we strike up an instant relationship again. The one big advantage is that we know each other’s games inside out having played together for so long when we were both at Newcastle. With hindsight, we could have played together for 40 minutes against Romania or Georgia but training has gone really well. We have been trying out options and plays and it has been pretty slick.
The decision to play two fly-halves enables us to share the responsibility for kicking when we are in our own half. It is great when you are playing fly-half and you know you can throw the ball to another player who can kick and find the corners as well. We haven’t chatted yet about who will be goal-kicking, but I am sure Jonny will do it. He is the man in charge. If he wants me to do it then fine, but I think he is very comfortable doing it.
France - Dimitri Yachvili and Morgan Parra
from nineMSN:
France coach Marc Lievremont stuck to his guns on Tuesday by retaining converted halfback Morgan Parra at five-eighth for the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against England despite back-to-back losses. Specialist five eighth Francois Trinh-Duc was again relegated to the bench when the controversial Lievremont named his team for the clash at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. His switching of Clermont halfback Parra to No.10 outside Dimitri Yachvili is sure to remain one of the talking points of the World Cup, especially after France lost to both New Zealand (37-17) and, far more dramatically, Tonga (19-14) in their last two pool matches with Parra in that role. "Despite the great qualities of Francois in that position, I love the possibility of playing Morgan there and his understanding with Dimitri Yachvili," Lievremont told reporters. "Morgan is a competitor. I think he's added a certain dynamism which, although it didn't produce concrete results against New Zealand, I want to stick with."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Day of Kicking and Kicking and Kicking...

A year ago at this time, kicker Craig Pinto entered the Guinness Book of World Records after hitting 717-of-981 field goals during a 12 hour span.

This weekend, Craig will be kicking again.
This October 9th Pinto will attempt the record at Theodore Roosevelt Park’s brand new football field, in Oyster Bay, NY. This one will be the “Most Field Goals made in 24 Hours” and the mark is set high, with Pinto needing to make a minimum of 1,000 field goals to set a new world record. This year’s event will be to benefit and expand the Kicking 4 Celiac Foundation’s Scholarship program, which will begin in the Spring of 2012, and will award scholarship’s to students heading to college that live with Celiac Disease. In wanting to help as many people as possible, the Foundation is hoping to ensure this event is bigger than last years, to have the opportunity to award scholarships to well deserving students.
Leading up to the event, we checked in with Craig and asked him the following three questions:

Are you doing anything differently this year in terms of training and preparation as compared to last year?
"This year I have been doing more working out/stretching and less kicking. Last year I was coming off of my AIFA season, so I was in better shape."
Any planned adjustments for the actual day of the event this year, based on things you may have learned last year?
"This year I will be taking less breaks than last year, and pacing myself differently. Since I need to make 1,000 kicks for this record, we plan on kicking in 100 FG blocks instead of just going 'til I fall, to mentally shorten the day."
Regarding spreading awareness of celiac disease over the past year, is there any particular story, pleasant-surprise (or something along those lines) that you'd like to share?
"After the event last year it was really cool to get emails from parents of student-athletes and even from athletes themselves that they go through similar issues as I do, and they were excited to see something like this happen. It was nice to see it help people out in a positive way, which was one of the goals. Hopefully this year we can reach out to even more people."
As mentioned above, the primary focus of both events has been to raise awareness. What exactly is celiac disease? The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University defines it as follows:
Celiac disease is a an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine, which can lead to malabsorption of nutrients. A genetic intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, triggers this destructive reaction of the immune system. Common resulting complications of celiac disease in adults include reduced bone density (osteopenia and osteoporosis), anemia, increased risk of other autoimmune disorders and malignancies, infertility and neurological problems.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Muscular Kicking, part 2

by guest blogger AJ Wells
[editor's note: the following is adapted from a speech given by AJ this past summer]

Now let’s formally introduce the groups of muscles that I presented in part 1, so that we can further analyze their ability to win or lose a game, and how warming up affects them.

The first group I brought up was the calves. The calves are located behind the shin bone, and are the main muscles of the lower leg, they contain specific muscles such as, soleus, and the tibialis anterior. The calves contain a lot of potential power for a kicker, and also are important for balance. Having said that, let’s begin to prevent an injury.
  • The main warm up I use for the calves, is the toe walk – Where I stand on my toes, in a sense of like a ballerina, and walk.
  • The main stretch for the calves that I use is the, heel walk – where I sit back upon my heels, and simply walk, much like the toe walks.
The second main group of muscles is the quadriceps. The quadriceps is also known as the thigh, and make up the top part of the leg, above the knee. The quadriceps are made up of muscles like, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and the vastus medialis.
  • One warm up that is excellent for the quadriceps is the high knees, which is done, by raising your knee to about hip level, while using your quadriceps.
  • A fantastic quadriceps stretch is, Hold your leg in the air, and grab your ankle and press it to your hip. You should feel a nice stretch in the quadriceps.
The third main group would be the abductors and the adductors of the inside thigh, and the groin. Abductors are used to bring your leg away from the body, and adductors are used to bring your leg back to the body. In the final part of the kick, your abductors and adductors play major roles. The abductors, adductors, and groin are made up of muscles like - abductor longus, the sartorius, and the abductor magnus.
  • One excellent warm up for these muscles, is Open the Gate. Where you in a rhythmic movement, will bring your knee up like in high knees, and then rotate your leg outside.
  • A great stretch for the adductors, abductors and groin is: sit on the ground and put the soles of your feet together in front of you. Let your knees just fall to their max, do not press them down. Bend forward from the hips, not the shoulders. Find a spot in front of you and focus your eyes on it. Keep your lower back flat as possible.
The final muscles is the hamstring, which is located on the back of the top of the leg. Opposite of the quadriceps. The hamstring includes muscles like the semitendinosus, biceps femoris, and the semimembranosus. 
  • A good hamstring warm up, is the lunge,where you place one leg well in front of the other, and slowly bend down with the back leg, almost to where your knee is touching the ground, and then push yourself back up from this position, then alternate legs.
  • The best stretch for the hamstring is the front split. Remember, this stretch actually takes much work to get to, so I shall suggest you do not just go immediately into a full split, but rather just spread your legs as far down to the ground as possible for you.
Each position in football, and as well as in each sport, requires specific muscles to be warmed up, but if you will notice, most sports make major use of the muscle groups I mentioned. So these warm ups and stretches could be used for other sports, just as well as I use them for kicking. Just remember, whether you want to be the best in the nation, all-region, or just want to start on your high school’s varsity team, don’t let tense muscles prevent you from beating the guy next to you. Research your sport, see what the pro’s use, see what your coach suggests, and get to warming-up.

editors note: from AJ's bio...
Freshman year: Unanimous vote First team All Region Kicker
First team All Area Punter
Sophomore year: Selected by three different publications as the Preseason All-State Kicker/Punter for Class A of Georgia High School Association
Ranked Number one Kicker in the nation according to for the class of 2014
Stats in Sophomore year after 6 games: 27 touchbacks on kick offs, 40.3 yard average punting, with 5 of 14 punts inside the 20.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NFL Week Four: Adjusting, Supporting & Remembering

After a slow start to the 2011 season, Chiefs' kicker Ryan Succop had a big game this week. He accounted for all but six of Kansas City's points in their 22-17 win over Minnesota. He was 5 of 5 on field goals, connecting from 40, 24, 51, 54 & 22 yards. He had made some adjustments in practices this past week:
“My tempo was off a little bit. I was kind of rushing at the ball a little bit. I slowed it down a little bit and I feel very fortunate that [special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman] was there to kind of help me with that. We went out this week and worked really hard in practice, and hopefully we can take this and build on it.”
Beyond his position coach, he also had broader support along the way:
“Obviously the past couple weeks hasn’t been the way I’ve wanted to kick. Just everybody believing in me, the encouragement - and that starts from the top all the way down to the players - I feel really good to be able to prove them right.”
In Philadelphia, rookie kicker Alex Henery had the support of the kicker for San Francisco on the opposite sideline. Of course 49ers kicker David Akers is best known for having been the Eagles kicker for over a decade.
"I think Alex Henery is going to be a great kicker for this organization for a long time. When you switch teams, I took somebody's job, too. It's not like he's coming in [saying] you're gone. The organization made a decision. . . . He's got a strong leg. He's done a great job kicking field goals. It was a tough day to kick out there, regardless. The wind was all over the place. It shifted back and forth."
Both kickers missed two of their attempted field goals - Henery going 3 of 5, and Akers going 1 of 3, with one of the misses having been blocked. On Alex Henery's end, he knew the simple answer regarding his misses, which received greater scrutiny afterward since the Eagles lost the game 23-24:
"I just didn't get my hip through. If you don't do that, it's going to push it, no matter what."
In Cincinnati, kicker Mike Nugent's 43 yard field on the final play of the game was doubly special to him. First, it gave his present team a 23-20 victory. Second, it was a win for his favorite team from childhood - the very same Bengals.
“It’s a very good feeling, and not just for the obvious. But to do it for your team – and when I say your team I mean I grew up a die-hard Bengals fan. I’ve been coming to games my whole life and I’ve watched guys like Jim Breech do it all of the time. It’s one of those things where we need to remember this feeling and bring it into next week.”

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Advice to Aspiring Punters

If a high school punter is looking to continue their career to the next level, what should they be doing? We gathered feedback from some college players who've recently been there and done that. Members of this year's senior class from colleges around the nation weighed in on the following question: "If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring high school punters, what would it be?"

Ben Ryan, East Carolina
"Do something every day to get better, whether its kicking, lifting, stretching etc. I've always thought that there's someone else out there getting better today, so so will I."

Ryan Tydlacka, Kentucky
"Always work on your ball drop. Not everyone's form is perfect, and every once in a while something can go wrong with someones form. But the ball drop is the best way to stay consistent and to overcome any flaws in a punting form, especially if it is a windy day. When I am at practice, or at home and I'm not doing anything, I will walk a straight line and do ball drops."

Will Goggans, Troy
"Don't get down if you have a bad punt or bad game. Remember, no punter will ever hit every ball perfect and even college and professional punters mess up. Keep your head up and go out and punt the next one better."

Nathaniel Toulson, Middle Tennessee State
"The main thing is fundamentals, such as: correct drop, straight leg swing, toe down, etc.... A punter can have the strongest leg in the world but if his fundamentals of punting are not perfected, his punting will not reach his full potential. And of course practice, practice, practice. Remember the little things (fundamentals) because in the end, the little things make a huge difference."

Mickey Groody, Florida Atlantic
"Go to the schools you would be interested in playing for kicking camps and as many National High School kicking combines as you can."

Drew Butler, Georgia
"Develop a consistent drop. I believe that the drop is the most vital part of punting and a consistent drop that produces the football to turn over is the quickest way to see good practice sessions translate into productive game performances."

Brian Stahovich, San Diego State
"Keep at it. Through all the ups and downs, stick to your fundamentals that got you there."

Jake Hurst, Nevada
"For me it's all about forgetting the last punt regardless if it was good or bad. It's how you recover from the good and bad punts that makes you better. Focus on the now, not what has already happened. You can't live in the past because you can't change it if it was bad. You can't rely on your last punt to show what you can do, you have to do it now. Think of it like free-throw in basketball, punting is a constant repeatable motion, make it the same every time."

Johnny Hekker, Oregon State
"Keep working on the little things. There are countless punting drills that I do on a regular basis that have nothing to do with actually punting a ball. Working on catching snaps and drops are keys to being successful."

Bryan Anger, California
"Work hard and be consistent with drills. I know drills may be tedious and mundane, but they are necessary in order to be consistent in games. And of course...always try to keep things fun. I like to make small competitions out of everything I do to keep things exciting."

Scott Kovanda, Ball State
"Keep working hard and never give up. It is very difficult to get a scholarship as a punter and it can be very easy to get discouraged if your not getting the attention you want from college coaches. Keep working hard on perfecting your skills and never give up on your dreams. You'll get your shot to showcase your skills and when you get that chance make the most of it!"

Big Kickers on Campus, 2011 week 5

A summary of notable kicking during the fifth week of the 2011 college football season:

Junior kicker Anthony Cantele made a 31 yard field goal with 3:10 remaining to give Kansas State a 36-35 win over Baylor.
“In four years of high school, I never once had one where our team needed it right then and there. It’s my first time, so it’s pretty exciting.... Honestly, it’s one of those things where you have to do the same thing over and over. On the hold, I think I got a little excited and went a little fast, faster than what we wanted. But it went in. That’s all I care about.... We just beat the No. 15 team in the country with the No. 1 player in the country on their team. Honestly, we’re a Top-20 team, easily.”
Junior kicker Edgar Osols hit a 45 yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the game to give UMass Dartmouth a 31-29 victory over MIT.

Senior kicker David Lang hit a 35 yard field goal with 1:31 remaining to give Butler a 29-27 win over Dayton.

Senior kicker Gregg Berkshire hit his second second field goal of the fourth quarter, a 22 yarder with 1:29 remaining, to give Ashland a 6-3 win over Northwood (MI).

Senior kicker Adam Henry made a 22 yard field goal as time expired to lift Union to a 34-31 football victory over Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Sophomore kicker Anthony Kassab hit 33 a yard field goal with 1:12 remaining to give Millersville a 10-7 win over Cheyney.

Sophomore kicker Justin Huinker made an 18 yard field goal with one second remaining to give UW-La Crosse a 31-28 victory over UW-Stevens Point.
""It feels great. The coaches believed in me, the whole team believed in me and I had to believe in myself. It was amazing."
Junior kicker Chase McCoy hit a 26 yard field goal with three seconds left in the game to give Pittsburgh State a 38-35 win against Northwest Missouri State.

Junior kicker Bryan Visingardi made a 41 yard field goal in overtime to give Geneva College a 23-20 win against St. Vincent.

Senior kicker Austin Turner hit a 34 yard field goal in overtime to give Fayetteville State a 31-28 win against St. Augustine's.
"I have to give my snapper and holder a lot of credit. They play offense and defense each, the whole game, and then they have to make the play for me. I can't say enough about them."
Junior kicker Brett Baer hit a 26-yard field goal on the final play to lift Louisiana-Lafayette to a 37-34 victory over Florida Atlantic. He also kicked field goals of 47 and 46 yards.

Junior kicker Stephen Stansell made a 35 yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining to give Austin Peay a 37-34 win over Tennessee State.

Although he missed three field goal attempts, senior kicker San San Te also made four field goals, including a 47 yarder in overtime to give Rutgers a 19-16 win over Syracuse.
"Just like a quarterback, you have to have a short memory. I don’t want a miss affecting my kicks coming up. I just focused on my technique and did what I had to do, I guess."
Junior kicker Colton Rainey kicked a pair of 21 yard field goals in the final two minutes to lift Southwestern Oklahoma State to a 23-20 victory over Southeastern Oklahoma State.

Freshman kicker Austin Brettschneider hit a 37 yard field goal with one second remaining to give Millikin a 30-27 victory over Augustana College.

If we missed someone that should be on the above list, please let us know!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fred Mitchell Award September 2011 Recognizees, part 3

The annual Fred Mitchell Outstanding Place-Kicker Award is provided to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker among more than 750 FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. The Award is named for Fred Mitchell, the record-setting place-kicker, Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Famer, author, philanthropist and Chicago Tribune sports columnist. The recipient of the Fred Mitchell Award will be chosen based on excellence on the football field and in the community. The Award’s Watch List is released in August, top performers are recognized monthly during the college football season, and the winner (who is not required to be on the Watch List) is announced in mid-December. The school of the Award winner receives scholarship funds and the Fred Mitchell Award trophy will be presented on February 20, 2012 at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.

In alphabetical order, the final third of the Fred Mitchell Award honorees for September 2011 are listed below.

MATT MYERS, Northern Arizona University - FCS
Senior from Corona, CA….leads team in scoring with 32 points from 7 of 11 FG’s and 11 of 12 PAT’s…. all FG misses have been from 40-50 yards….scored 11 points at Portland State on September 17 including 48-yard FG….scored 8 points in 20-3 win over Idaho State on September 24 ….led volunteer efforts to visit Phoenix Children’s Hospital in August 2011…participated in Earth Week community cleanup event and Flagstaff kickoff setup….participated in Red Ribbon Week volunteer events….community drug-free campaign speaker at local elementary schools….involved with local Humane Society….Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer….St. Mary Food Bank volunteer….helped protect homes from flood and assisted with the flood clean-up efforts…Allstate Good Words Team nominee

DAVID NADEAU, University of Minnesota Duluth – Division II
Senior from White Bear Lake, MN….leads the 10th ranked Bulldogs in scoring with 29 points from 6 of 7 FG’s and 11 of 11 PAT’s….named Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on September 26 after scoring 14 points in 26-23 win over Bemijdi State on September 24….tied school kicking records for most FG’s in a game (4) and most points in a game (14) on September 24….scored 8 points in 20-12 win over then-8th ranked Augustana (SD) on September 3….owns 13 school records including for career points (329), PAT attempts (233), PAT’s made (218), FG attempts (51) and FG’s made (37)….has made 18 of last 20 FG’s and 35 straight PAT’s dating to last season….averaged 62 yards on 20 kickoffs….Engineering Society member….annual volunteer in the Big Jig Fishing Contest

JAMES NEAL, Lindenwood University (Missouri) – Division II
Sophomore from Mansfield, TX....2nd on the Lions in scoring with 29 points from 4 of 4 FG’s and 17 of 18 PAT’s….kicked game-winning 21-yard FG as time expired and scored 10 points to beat FBS Northern Colorado 22-20 for the biggest regular season win in school history….made career-long 44-yard FG and scored season-high 11 points against Graceland on September 10….surpassed 100 career points in September in his 13th game and finished September with 114 career points…averaging 57 yards on 13 kickoffs…counselor at Camp Crucis

SCOTT ROCHE, Wheaton College (Illinois) – Division III
Senior from Evergreen, CO…leads the team in scoring with 29 points from 6 of 7 FG’s and 11 of 13 PAT’s….scored 11 points in 23-14 win over UW-Platteville on September 17….averaged 60 yards on 26 kickoffs….works with area youths as a leader in the Young Life program at a nearby high school for three nights each week….volunteered for Feed My Starving Children by packaging approximately 1,000 meals for those in need….actively participates in the football program’s ministry project each year during Spring Break, most recently in Senegal to help missionaries with work projects and building churches, playgrounds, lodging and other necessities….in his 4th year as a leader of a small group of football players as a part of ministry

ALEX ROMANIAS, Edinboro University (Pennsylvania) – Division II
Senior from Pittsburgh, PA….leads the 18th ranked Fighting Scots in scoring with 39 points from 7 of 7 FG’s and 18 of 18 PAT’s….ranks 3rd in school history with 129 career PAT’s and 4th in school history with 27 career FG’s…ranks 8th in career scoring with 210 points….has made 31 straight PAT’s dating back to last season….tied for 5th in Division II and 2nd in PSAC with FG’s per game with 1.75….9.75 points/game ranks 26th in Division II and 4th in the Conference….made all 3 FG attempts against West Liberty including a 40-yard FG at the end of the first half which matched his career long….scored 12 points in 30-14 win against West Liberty on September 3….converted FG’s of 35 and 37yards against Cheyney and against Gannon made FG’s of 31 and 21 yards….Read to Compete Program volunteer where football team reads to local elementary school students

DYLAN RUSHE, Endicott College (Massachusetts) – Division III
Sophomore from Palos Verdes, CA….leads the Gulls in scoring with 40 points from 7 of 9 FG’s and 19 of 20 PAT’s ….scored 15 points in 33-13 win over Framingham State on September 3 ….averaging 55 yards in 31 kickoffs….participates in annual run to raise money for St. Vincent de Paul as well as monthly food and clothing drives throughout local parish in Dublin, Ireland….assisted with Habitat for Humanity projects in Wilmington and Long Beach, CA….participates in weekly events with special needs children at North Shore Arc…Open Door Food Pantry volunteer during holidays to distribute food and household products….raises funds for Relay for Life, Walk for Life, City of Hope and Wellness Community

CODY SANDLIN, University of Tennessee at Martin – FCS
Junior from Goodlettsville, TN….leads the team in scoring with 32 points from 5 of 5 FG’s and 17 of 17 PAT’s….two FG’s have been from 40-49 yards….made 3 of 3 FG’s in season opener against 9th ranked Jacksonville State including career-best 45-yard FG….made two 20 yard FG’s against 24th ranked Murray State on September 22….OVC Specialist of the Week nominee for his performance against Murray State where he scored 12 points….averaging 58 yards on 19 kickoffs….participates in all team community service projects since freshman year including cleaning up Union City Park after an ice storm…Santa’s Village event and food drive volunteer for two years for the Martin Parks and Recreation

CHRIS SCIFO, University of New Haven (Connecticut) – Division II
Sophomore from Coral Springs, FL….tied for 1st on the team in scoring with 24 points from 4 of 6 FG’s and 12 of 13 PAT’s…scored 14 points in 50-14 win over Saint Augustine’s on September 10…averaging 64 yards in 21 kickoffs….Chamber of Commerce volunteer for Dover Beach Clean-Up….Pagels School Student Mentor….West Haven leaf raking

WESLEY SKIFFINGTON, Stony Brook University (New York) - FCS
Junior from Brandon, FL…2nd on the Seawolves in scoring with 28 points from 6 of 8 FG’s and 10 of 10 PAT’s….Big South Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring 13 points in 37-20 win over Lafayette including a career-long 46 yards on September 24…became school’s all-time leader on September 24 in points among kickers beating the old record of 156 points….Friends of Jaclyn Program volunteer….Sunrise Fund volunteer at Stony Brook University Medical Center….headed football team’s participation in Walk for Beauty

ANDY SMITH, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology – NAIA
Senior from Pierre, SD….2nd on team in scoring with 31 points from 8 of 10 FG’s and 7 of 7 PAT’s….scored 10 points against Fort Lewis on September 10….scored 7 points against Black Hills State on September 17 including 51-yard FG….averaging 51 yards on 23 kickoffs….entered the 2010 season with every SD Mines kicking record including longest FG (52 yards)….Big Brothers, Big Sisters fundraiser and volunteer

STEFAN TERLECKYJ, Wayne State University (Michigan) – Division II
Sophomore from Warren, MI…leads the 9th ranked Warriors in scoring with 32 points from 3 of 3 FG’s and 23 of 24 PAT’s …scored 7 points in 31-24 win over Ohio Dominican on September 24 to go 4-0 for the first time since 1967….averaging 59 yards on 32 kickoffs….participated in United Way’s Martin Luther King Day of Service by assisting the Motor City Blight Busters with a renovation project in metropolitan Detroit….collected consumer products for the DO Foundation’s Hit the Street Mission and Covenant House Michigan

BRADEN WIEKING, University of Sioux Falls (South Dakota) – Division II
Junior from Sioux Falls, SD….2nd on the Cougars in scoring with 23 points from 4 of 5 FG’s and 11 of 11 PAT’s….scored 8 points in 38-23 win over Minot State on September 24….only FG miss was from 52 yards….averaging 55 yards on 19 kickoffs….team’s nomination for Allstate Good Hands Team….Sioux Falls Fellowship of Christian Athletes volunteer and Group Huddle Leader on campus….Habitat for Humanity volunteer….Vacation Bible Study volunteer

KYLE WILLIAMS, Hinds Community College (Mississippi) – NJCAA
Sophomore from Pearl, MS….leads team in scoring with 23 points from 3 of 5 FG’s and 14 of 17 PAT’s… Habitat for Humanity volunteer….Muscular Dystrophy Association of Mississippi volunteer

ANTHONY WOOD, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College (Minnesota) – NJCAA
Senior from Cloquet, MN….Team Captain….scored 9 points from 1 of 1 FG’s and 6 of 7 FG’s….intern in Athletic Director’s office….Student Senate Activities Coordinator….volunteers to help local high school place-kickers and punters….coaches Junior Varsity soccer at Cloquet High School….presented donated toys to children at Community Memorial Hospital