the study of the kicking components within sports

Saturday, July 11, 2015

BC Lions Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

July 10, 2015 - Richie Leone's record kick sends game into overtime
"Trailing 29-26, B.C. elected to kick deep and got the ball back after stuffing Saskatchewan on third-and-short near midfield. Lions rookie kicker Richie Leone then stepped up a few plays later and hit his fifth field goal of the night, a club-record boot of 56 yards, with 15 seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime. Former B.C. kicker Paul McCallum, who was cut in training camp, nailed a 33-yard field goal to put Saskatchewan (0-3) up 32-29 in OT before Lulay hooked up with Arceneaux for the clinching points." - TSN

June 20, 2015 - Richie Leone wins kicking job
"Richie Leone won the kicking job vacated by the removal of Paul McCallum, with fellow rookie Anthony Fera asked to take a spot on the practice roster." - The Province

June 6, 2015 - kicker Paul McCallum released
It seems Paul McCallum is not ready to retire just yet. McCallum has been granted a release from the B.C. Lions, who asked the kicker to retire five days into their training camp. 'I don't usually do this but I want it to be very clear! I did not ask to be released! I was told to retire or I would be cut,' McCallum tweeted on Saturday.... McCallum has the second most points in CFL history, behind former Lions kicker Lui Passaglia. He also has played in the the sixth most games in league history." - CBC

June 4, 2015 - team asks kicker Paul McCallum to retire
"When the B.C. Lions practised Thursday night the sun was setting and the veteran kicker was nowhere to be found. The CFL team has asked the 45-year-old to retire after just five days of training camp. General manager Wally Buono met with Thursday afternoon with McCallum, who had his locker cleaned out and headed to the Lower Mainland. 'I need some time to think,' McCallum said. It’s possible that McCallum, who led the CFL hitting 90.5 per cent of his kicks last season, would ask for his release to try and catch on with another team. However, coach Jeff Tedford decided to hand put kicking in the hands of Americans Anthony Fera and Richie Leone, whose leg strength this week was impossible to overlook. All that remains to be determined is whether the ending is messy or not. Tedford said that McCallum had been allowed to go home for personal reasons and wouldn’t elaborate." - The Province

May 31, 2015 - kicker/punter Richie Leone signed
"That’s our plan,' coach Tedford said. 'We want to find a guy who can do all three (place-kicking, punting and kickoffs). Just from what I’ve seen of Anthony Fera last year, in Texas, and Richie Leone here, they both have strong legs. It’s nice to have competition.' Tedford didn’t speak a lot about McCallum, except to say it’s still possible the Lions could go with two kickers — the veteran Canadian to handle field goals and one of the American youngsters to do the punting and kickoffs. 'We could,' the coach said. 'The optimal thing would be to save a (roster) spot and not do that. But if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes — to be the best we can be'.... At the University of Houston, Leone was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the top punter in NCAA football, for three consecutive years. In his senior year, almost half of his kickoffs (47.4 per cent) went for touchbacks. He was the Cougars’ field goal kicker for seven games, going five-for-five in one game." - Vancouver Sun

May 25, 2015 - kicker/punter Steven Shott released

April 27, 2015 - kicker/punter Steven Shott signed
"Shott went to his first camp with the Lions in 2010, as a junior protection from the Okanagan Sun. He holds the BCFC record for the longest field goal — 57 yards. Shott was with the Lions at their 2014 camp in Kamloops, released and then spent the remainder of the season with Windsor Fratmen of the Ontario Football Conference. B.C. has signed 45-year-old kicker Paul McCallum for another season — his 23rd in the CFL — but Lions GM Wally Buono indicated the club still is looking for an import who can handle all three phases of the kicking game." - Vancouver Sun

March 23, 2014 - kicker Paul McCallum back for another year
"Kicker Paul McCallum will return for his 23rd CFL season, 12th with the Lions... Last season, the 45-year-old McCallum hit 38 of 42 field goals for a league-best 90.5 per cent success rate." - CBC

December 5, 2014 - kicker/punter Richie Leone
"Whether the 22-year-old punter/kicker from Roswell, Ga. is meant to be a B.C. Lion is yet to be determined. Half the age of the team’s field goal kicker, 44-year-old Paul McCallum, Leone’s powerful leg impressed players and coaches after he joined the expanded practice roster of the Canadian Football League team on Oct. 20. Although he didn’t play a game, Leone unnerved the team’s resident punter, Ricky Schmitt, from the moment he set foot on the practice field. Schmitt had good reason to feel threatened. His official release was announced Tuesday, when the Lions said they were not picking up the options of Schmitt and veteran defenders Dante Marsh, Khalif Mitchell and Jamall Johnson. 'He’s got lots of potential, lots of power,' McCallum said of Leone. 'I saw him hit the scoreboard (at BC Place) in practice. I think I’ve proven that kickoffs and punting are past me now. I think I can still kick field goals. But that’s up to them (management). If they want someone who can do all three, I’ll be out of a job.' Lions general manager Wally Buono indeed is looking for a player who can handle all three kicking duties in 2015." - Vancouver Sun 

November 12, 2014 -  kicker Paul McCallum
"In a year when the B.C. Lions have been inconsistent, especially on offence, the veteran kicker has been his reliable self, good on 90.5 per cent of his field goal attempts. No other kicker in the league matched it. Swayze Waters of the Toronto Argonauts was closest at 90.4 per cent. On Wednesday, McCallum, with 22 years of CFL experience, was named a West Division all-star for the sixth time in his career. As McCallum entered his mid-40s, he appeared to show signs of slowing down in the previous two seasons, but rebounded nicely in 2014. He didn’t achieve the remarkable pace from 2011 — a 94.3 per cent success rate — although the accuracy and leg didn’t appear to be an issue. 'Hitting over 50 yards, I’m still capable. Leg strength is still adequate,' said McCallum on Wednesday. His longest this season was 49 yards." - Metro News 

October 25, 2014 - kicker Paul McCallum joins 3000 club
"McCallum joined Lui Passaglia Saturday as the only players in league history to score 3,000 points when he kicked two field goals and 10 points in the Lions' 28-23 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, including his first single as a punter this season. That only put the 22-year veteran a mere 982 points behind Lui the Legend, who played a quarter-century. An impish smile came over McCallum after he began to think about the magnitude of the achievement accomplished by the one kicker who had more of an effect on his career than anyone else. 'It's terrible. It's ridiculous that he just kicked that many points,' McCallum said of Passaglia. 'Well, you know, actually, I take that back. He scored a couple of touchdowns. So he cheated'." - The Province

September 5, 2014 - Paul McCallum's two field goals lift BC over Ottawa
"A pair of Paul McCallum field goals were enough to lift the Lions to a 7-5 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night. 'It was one of the ugliest games I’ve seen in a long time,' McCallum said. 'We’ve got a lot of work to get going the way we should. When you hold a team to that few points your defence is doing well, but offensively you have to do better as a team'.... Five plays later, McCallum kicked a 49-yard field goal to tie the game.... McCallum’s 34-yard field goal on the last play of the half got the Lions their first lead of the game.... punter Ricky Schmitt booted a 69-yard single for a 7-5 B.C. lead." - Sportsnet

September 1, 2014 - long snapper Mike Benson signed
"A hand injury to long snapper Jordan Matechuk also has resulted in the emergency signing by the Lions of Mike Benson, a graduate of Acadia University. The Winnipeg native spent the 2013 season on the practice roster of the Edmonton Eskimos before signing with the Toronto Argonauts prior to camp this year. Benson made his pro debut against the Lions on October 19, 2012 after Eskimos' starting long snapper Ryan King separated his shoulder." - Vancouver Sun

August 18, 2014 - kicker Paul McCallum kicks
"McCallum, the 44-year-old metronome kicked four more field goals and has now made 16 in a row. He has missed only one of 18 attempts this season (it hit the upright) and his 94.4 per cent success rate leads the CFL. 'He’s older than some of our coaches, but he’s a tremendous benefit,' said Lions head coach Mike Benevides, after his team returned Monday to Vancouver. 'He’s seen it all. He used to get nervous for a game. He doesn’t anymore. He’s a great sounding board for a lot of players on the sidelines.' The expansion of the CFL from eight to nine teams, and the increase in game rosters to 44 from 42 players, has diluted the Canadian content on one hand and strengthened defences and special teams on the other.... But the expanded rosters certainly have worked to the benefit of McCallum, who’s had punting and kickoffs removed from his repertoire with the addition of import punter Ricky Schmitt to the game roster. 'Ricky punting now, I think that’s an advantage for the club,' McCallum explained. 'He has the leg strength. That said, I still think I’m one of the top kickers in the league. Take away my age, I think I’m still up there. Who cares how old I am? Why not keep playing?” - Vancouver Sun

August 8, 2014 - kicker Paul McCallum hit five field goals in win over Ticats
"Justin Medlock and Paul McCallum both went five for five but the B.C. Lions offence found the endzone once more than the Cats did to give the home team a 36-29 victory....  Justin Medlock hit from 31, 32 and 38 yards to give Hamilton a 19-17 lead at halftime. But coming out of the half a McCallum 47 yard field goal would give the Lions back a lead that they would not relinquish.... Paul McCallum would hit another field goal, this from 32 yards but Justin Medlock answered right back from 40. But one point was as close as the Cats would get as 20 and 42 yard field goals from McCallum sealed the victory for the Lions." - CHML

July 28, 2014 - punter Ricky Schmitt returns to practice
"On Monday, Schmitt was back at practice for the first time since he suffered abrasions to his shoulder and right knee, serious enough to have him scratched from last Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers because of his injuries. 'I was able to walk away from it. That, in itself, was a blessing,' Schmitt said. 'Thank God for that. My right leg got scratched up a little bit, but I kick with my left leg. It was my first time on a scooter -- and probably my last time, too. It’s in 1,000 pieces.' Schmitt’s 49 c.c. scooter wasn’t much more powerful than the mini-scooters driven by red-fezzed Shriners in a Fourth of July parade. The frugally-minded Schmitt was proud of the fact he could fill the tank with premium gas for five dollars. For now, he’s getting to practice in a car borrowed from his landlord. 'A punter in a scooter accident -- it doesn’t get much worse than that, jokes-wise (in the locker room),' Schmitt admitted. 'The guys are already calling me ‘Scooter.’ I’m been getting ‘Evel Knievel’ a lot lately, too. I just roll with the punches. It’s all in fun'.... Lions head coach Mike Benevides said Schmitt’s playing status for Friday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders will be evaluated after practices Tuesday and Wednesday." - Vancouver Sun

July 23, 2014 - who will kickoff and punt?
"On Tuesday, head coach Mike Benevides couldn’t say whether the Lions will explore the option of contacting Steve Shott, a kicker/punter from the North Shore who has attended four training camps with the Lions. Shott, 24, was released by the Lions last year and then re-signed and placed on the practice roster in August. He was cut again, in June this year, before the team broke its 2014 training camp in Kamloops. The 44-year-old Paul McCallum may be required to turn the clock back one year, and handle the placekicking, punting and kickoffs as he has done through most of his 22-year CFL career. 'It’s the same as always,' McCallum said. 'As far as I know they’re going to ask me to do what I do. I’ve been doing all three for long enough'." - Vancouver Sun

July 22, 2014 -  punter Ricky Schmitt in scooter accident
"General manager Wally Buono did not have all the details, but confirmed the club’s punter and kickoff specialist was involved in an accident Tuesday not far from the team’s Surrey practice facility and may have suffered a shoulder injury that could keep him out of Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Schmitt lives not far from the facility and in an effort to save a few pennies in his first year with the Lions, secured a motorized scooter to get him to and from practice. At the very least, Paul McCallum was back to handling all kicking duties Tuesday." - The Province

June 21, 2014 - kicker Steven Shott released
"Lions reduced their training camp roster Saturday by releasing seven players, among them Steven Shott, who kicked the game-winning field goal in a preseason game against the Edmonton Eskimos on June 13. The 24-year-old Shott, from North Vancouver, has been to four training camps with the Lions. He was released at this time last year, but re-signed with the club on August 16 and spent the remainder of the season on the practice roster." - Vancouver Sun

June 12, 2014 - punter Ricky Schmitt's new direction
"Directional kicking isn’t a needed component of an NFL resume, and there were concerns that Schmitt’s leg isn’t suited for the CFL, considering he had 13 singles last year in Saskatchewan. Too many deep kicks give opponents better field position if the ball is unreturned and placed on the 35-yard line. Too many kicks with big hang time can hurt when not executed properly, too. But McMann and the Lions are comfortable that Schmitt can adapt to the directional kicking game made famous for years by McCallum, whose perfect punt was a cue shot that bounced out of bounds inside the 10-yard line. In Saskatchewan, the Riders pushed back the opposition nearly 10 yards further per possession for a good portion of last season because of Schmitt’s punting, which could also result in milestone statistical performances this year from the likes of Rolly Lumbala and Jason Arakgi on special teams." - Canada

February 20, 2014 - kicker Paul McCallum extended
"Lions have agreed to a contract extension with non-import kicker Paul McCallum. The Vancouver native converted 28 of 33 field goal attempts in 2013 for the Lions. He has also played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Ottawa Rough Riders during his 21 season CFL career. The 44-year-old kicker is expected to handle field goal kicking during the 2014 season while the Lions plan to bring in another kicker for punting and kickoff duties." - TSN

February 20, 2014 - punter Ricky Schmitt signed
"Schmitt comes to the Lions after a championship season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Virginia Beach native ranked among the CFL's top-three kickers in punting yardage, net punting yardage and kickoff yards in 2013. 'Ricky has one of the strongest legs in the league and he demonstrated that in some pretty tough conditions last season in Regina,' said head coach Mike Benevides. 'With Paul looking after field goals and Ricky responsible for punting and kickoffs, I believe we have secured one of the best tandems in the CFL.' Schmitt was originally signed as a free agent by the Riders in November 2012 and appeared in the Western Final that year. Last season, he dressed for all 18 regular season games as well as both West Division playoff games and the Grey Cup. 'I'm very pleased to be joining the Lions," Schmitt said from his Virginia Beach home. 'The opportunity to be a part of this organization and work with a kicker of Paul's ability and experience was an opportunity that I could not pass up. I can't wait to get started on working towards bringing a Grey Cup to BC'." - OurSports Central

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