the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Navy Midshipmen Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

January 23, 2015 - kicker/punter Bennett Moehring commits
"Moehring, one of the top-rated kickers nationally from Bentonville (Ark.) High School, committed to Navy on Tuesday, January 20th. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound kicker/punter, chose the United State Naval Academy over offers from Army, UMass, Tulane and invitations as a preferred walk-on to California, Missouri, and SMU.... Moehring was 7-of-8 on field goals with a long of 49 yards and converted all 51 of his extra points as a senior for Bentonville’s Class 7A state championship team. He averaged 66.8 yards-per-kickoff and 44.4 yards-per punt." - Scout

January 19, 2015 - long snapper Michael Pifer commits
"Penn-Trafford senior long-snapper Michael Pifer made a verbal commitment to Division I FBS Navy after visiting over the weekend. 'He's the best long snapper I've coached,' P-T coach John Ruane said. 'When he was a sophomore, he found something he was good at and worked hard at it. He's been all over the country at different camps'." - Tribune-Review

December 23, 2014 - Austin Grebe kicks game winner in Poinsettia Bowl
"Austin Grebe booted a 24-yard field goal with 1:27 remaining in the game as Navy somehow squeaked out a 17-16 victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl.... Grebe's clutch kick capped a wild fourth quarter in which both teams tried to give the game away. San Diego State blew a golden opportunity to win the game in the final seconds as kicker Donny Hageman missed a 35-yard field goal attempt with 24 seconds left. Hageman, who had already made three field goals in the game, pushed the ball right – setting off a wild celebration on the Navy sideline.... Grebe, a junior from Stafford, Virginia, came on and calmly drilled the biggest kick of his career right down the middle between the uprights. 'Honestly, I wasn't thinking I would have to kick it because usually when we get that close Keenan scores," Grebe said. "I just wanted to go out there and make it and send all our seniors out on a positive note.' Grebe, who replaced Nick Sloan as Navy's placekicker in early October, did not miss a kick this season – finishing 6-for-6 on field goals and 33-for-33 on extra points. 'I asked Austin where he wanted the ball and he said it didn't matter, which shows what kind of kid he is," coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "Nick said put it on either hash and he'd kick the ball in'." - Capital Gazette

November 12, 2014 - long snapper Joe Cardona & kicker Austin Grebe
"Cardona was among the first 11 college football players to accept an invitation to the 66th annual Reese's Senior Bowl, being held Jan. 24, 2015 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Numerous National Football League scouts have traveled to Annapolis this fall to evaluate Cardona, a native of El Cajon, California. In 47 career games delivering the ball on punts and placekicks, the 6-foot-3, 236-pound senior has not been responsible for one bad snap. 'Some of the NFL scouts are projecting Joe as the best long snapper in the country,' Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said earlier this season. 'He has great accuracy and there is no hitch – his ball goes straight from the ground to the holder or punter. Quick, efficient, accurate and powerful – Joe has everything the NFL people are looking for'.... Niumatalolo's decision to install Austin Grebe as the starting placekicker looks better and better with each passing game. Since replacing the struggling Nick Sloan three games ago, Grebe has gone 16-for-16 on extra points and made all three of his field goal attempts. 'Austin has been doing really well. His field goals have been pure. What he's done on game day has not been a surprise because he's been doing it in practice ever since he started to focus on placekicking,' Niumatalolo said. Niumatalolo noted that Grebe did not really spend a lot of time practicing placekicks since that wasn't his primary job. The 6-foot, 192-pound junior was the kickoff specialist and thus concentrated his efforts on perfecting that skill." - Capital Gazette

October 9, 2014 - kicking competition
"Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo opened the placekicking competition this week, and it didn't take long to settle on a winner. Junior Austin Grebe out-kicked sophomore D.J. Grant-Johnson convincingly in practice on Tuesday and Niumatalolo said afterward that he'd seen enough. 'Right now, after what I saw today, it's going to be Austin,' Niumatalolo said. 'That's all we needed to see. I want to let (Grebe) know that he's the placekicker so he can start working on it.' Grebe backed up that decision with another strong performance at the end of Wednesday's practice, making 7 of 8 field goal attempts. The Virginia native booted a 45-yarder through the uprights with plenty of room to spare....  Grebe has handled kickoffs for Navy the past two seasons and displayed an extremely strong leg in that role. The 6-foot, 192-pounder has boomed 28 of 105 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. His rate this year is very good with 12 of 29 kickoffs not being returned. Niumatalolo said Grebe has improved his accuracy on placekicks and pointed out that he hasn't been asked to do so for three seasons since classmate Nick Sloan handled extra points and field goals.... Grebe replaces Sloan, who has missed five field goals this season. Those two are classmates and close friends so it's a tough situation. 'It's whatever is best for the team and whatever gives us the best chance to win. All the kickers know that,' Grebe said. Grebe said he will now place more focus on practicing placekicking and said his pregame routine will also change. He'll warm up kicking field goals instead of kickoffs. " - Capital Gazette

  August 12, 2014 - summer specialists
"Pablo Beltran has been Navy's punter for all 38 games of his career and has been extremely consistent. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior ranks third in program history with a career average of 40.8 yards per punt. Nick Sloan has also been a starter since his freshman campaign and has converted 92 of 96 point after touchdowns and 21 of 29 field goal attempts. The junior out of San Diego has already amassed 155 points and needs just six more to move into fifth place all-time among Navy kickers. 'We're very established there,' coach Ken Niumatalolo said when asked about the two veteran kicking specialists last week. 'It's reassuring and gives you some comfort, but what's happened in the past doesn't mean anything. We have to produce this year'.... Beltran said his offseason training consisted of punting almost daily while at the academy for strength and conditioning workouts, a few days of technique evaluation and instruction from his long-time guru – Dallas-based Chris Shaw – and yoga sessions to improve flexibility. 'I also watched a lot of film. I went all the way back to my freshman year and just looked at everything,' he said. 'Whenever I hit a good ball, I looked at what my steps were or when I dropped the ball. There's always room for improvement, always little things to get better at – whether it's spinning the ball, the drop or leg extension'.... 'Nick is looking good and really booming the ball. There is a pop off his foot,' said Beltran, the holder for place kicks. 'We're keeping a chart and he's making like 92 percent right now'.... Niumatalolo noted that long snapper Joe Cardona plays a critical role in both the punting and place-kicking situation and has routinely praised the senior's consistent accuracy. Sloan said the trio has become quite efficient with the overall operation." - Capital Gazette

June 10, 2014 - punter Pablo Beltran honored
"Senior punter Pablo Beltran named to the Phil Steele 2014 Preseason All-Independent First Team.... Beltran was an Honorable Mention FBS All-Independent selection last fall after averaging 41.4 yards per punt on 40 punts last year. Twelve of his 40 punts were downed inside the opponent 20-yard line." - Midshipmen

May 29, 2014 - returning specialists
"A pair of veterans will handle the kicking chores. Pablo Beltran is only the second four-year starting punter in program history and ranks third all-time at Navy with a 41.1-yard career average. Nick Sloan begins his third season as the starting placekicker and has been fairly reliable, converting 21-of-29 field goals." - Athlon Sports

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