the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lou Groza & Ray Guy Finalists - In the Beginning

Looking ahead to tomorrow night, the winners of the  
Lou Groza Award for kicking and the  
Ray Guy Award for punting will be announced. For now, we take a look back to earlier times in the kicking careers of the six finalists.

P Scott Kovanda, Ball State
"My earliest recollection of kicking a ball is when I was in 7th grade playing youth football. My dad was a punter in high school and he got me started on the fundamentals of punting at an early age. From then on I was hooked and worked to get better everyday."

K Caleb Sturgis, Florida

"I think it's been a lot of fun for me. I think I missed [soccer], but a lot of the shock is already gone.... I think it's kind of weird. I loved watching soccer, loved watching my brothers and sister play [at Nease]. But I finally have a St. Augustine mind. I don't know about my brothers though."

P Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
"I had strong soccer background while growing up. Through high school I was mostly basketball. The main influence that pushed me to play football  was a big group of my senior high school mates that I played basketball with. Their team was supposed to be second or third in the state for football and they didn't really have a a kicker, so I tried out because I knew I could probably do it. I caught on pretty quickly, but it came from the soccer background."

K Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
"[My sophomore year in high school] I pulled my hamstring off my hipbone. It was bad. I was out for nine months. So that was when I stopped playing soccer and figured that I could maybe try and go to school for football. The only major soccer programs in state were SMU and Houston Baptist. I figured I had a better chance at going major [in football]. I think that's why I started focusing a little bit more on football."

P Kyle Christy, Florida
"Our starting punter was a senior and he graduated, so just after my sophomore year [coach Brett Comer] told me we're gonna need you to punt next year. At some point, my coach was like, ‘hey, you're looking pretty good out there. You might want to stick to this.' I took that to heart. I've given my high school coach so much credit for me getting a scholarship, because he's the one who made me start punting in the first place."

K Cairo Santos, Tulane
"My Dad always tells me this story that when I first started walking he bought me a nice hand made soccer ball from Europe for Christmas. We went to our backyard to kick it around but when he first rolled it me I kicked it over the fence that surrounded our house. So that was the first time I ever kicked a ball."

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