the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ray Guy Award Candidates 2014

The Augusta Sports Council has announced 80 nominees for the 2014 Ray Guy Award, which identifies the nation's top collegiate punter. The list will be narrowed to ten semifinalists to be announced on November 14. Following the semifinalists announcement, a national body of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) sports information directors, coaches, media representatives and previous Ray Guy Award winners will vote for the top three finalists, who will be identified on November 24. The voting body will then cast ballots to select the winner. The presentation of the Ray Guy Award will be featured on The Home Depot College Football Awards live on Thursday, December 11 at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN.

JK Scott, Alabama
Riggleman, Arizona
Matthew Haack, Arizona State
Sam Irwin-Hill, Arkansas
Luke Ferguson, Arkansas State
Alex Tardieu, Army
Spencer Roth, Baylor
Alex Howell, Boston College
Tyler Grassman, Buffalo
Scott Arellano, BYU
Cole Leininger, California
Ron Coluzzi, Central Michigan
Bradley Pinion, Clemson
Darragh O'Neill, Colorado
Hayden Hunt, Colorado State
Will Monday, Duke
Worth Gregory, East Carolina
Owen Dubiel, Eastern Michigan
Dalton Schomp, FAU
Kyle Christy, Florida
Garrett Swanson, Fresno State
Collin Barber, Georgia
Scott Harding, Hawai`i
Austin Rehkow, Idaho
Justin DuVernois, Illinois
Colin Downing, Iowa State
Trevor Pardula, Kansas
Nick Walsh, Kansas State
Anthony Melchiori, Kent State
Landon Foster, Kentucky
Daniel Cadona, Louisiana
Jamie Keehn, LSU
Tyler Williams, Marshall
Will Hagerup, Michigan
Mike Sadler, Michigan State
Peter Mortell, Minnesota
Devon Bell, Mississippi State
Christian Brinser, Missouri
Wil Baumann, NC State

Sam Foltz, Nebraska
Thomas Hibbard, North Carolina
Tyler Wedel, Northern Illinois
Cameron Johnston, Ohio State
Jed Barnett, Oklahoma
Kip Smith, Oklahoma State
Jarrett Cervi, Old Dominion
Will Gleeson, Ole Miss
Keith Kostol, Oregon State
Ryan Winslow, Pittsburgh
Thomas Meadows, Purdue
James Farrimond, Rice
Joel Alesi, San Diego State
Tyler Hull, South Carolina
Tyler Sarrazin, Southern Miss
Ben Rhyne, Stanford
Riley Dixon, Syracuse
Ethan Perry, TCU
Matt Darr, Tennessee
William Russ, Texas
Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
Will Johnson, Texas State
Taylor Symmank, Texas Tech
Dalton Parks, Tulsa
Hunter Mullins, UAB
Caleb Houston, UCF
Justin Wain, UConn
Justin Manton, ULM
Logan Yunker, UNLV
Mattias Ciabatti, USF
Tom Hackett, Utah
Jaron Bentrude, Utah State
Mike Ruggles, UTEP
Alec Vozenilek, Virginia
A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech
Alexander Kinal, Wake Forest
Korey Durkee, Washington
Nick O'Toole, West Virginia
J. Schroeder, Western Michigan
Drew Meyer, Wisconsin
Joseph Occhipinti, WKU

High School Long Kicks - Nevada

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Nevada.
  • 68 Dirk Borgognone, Reno during 34-14 win over Sparks, September 27, 1985 
"It was a perfect night. Dirk Borgognone remembered that much Tuesday afternoon as he stood in front of his locker at Dolphins camp. He remembered the clear sky over Nevada that September evening of 1985, the breeze, the feel of the grass. The snap, the hold... 'Everything was perfect,' Borgognone said. And then, with one swing of his right leg, Dirk Borgognone's life changed forever. 'Sometimes I wonder about that night,' he said. On that night, on a football field in Reno, Borgognone kicked five field goals for his high school team, his last sailing a national record 68 yards. 'And it cleared by 5 yards,' Borgognone pointed out. He became an instant celebrity; first-team Parade All-America, a top recruit at Tennessee. But sometimes, Borgognone says, 'I wonder how much different my life would have been if I had missed that kick. I used to think it was good. But nowadays ... I don't know anymore.' Could it have been a jinx?' A medal of honor or an albatross? A record of distinction or the burden of Sisyphus? 'Maybe I kind of peaked then,' Borgognone mused." - Sun-Sentinel
  • 64 Austin Pacheco, Carson during 27-24 win over Bishop Manogue Reno), October 1, 2011
"After the ball sailed through the goal posts and all the celebrations finally ended, Austin Pacheco figured he would be in demand. The local newspapers. Maybe a small radio station or two. They would all want a few minutes with the senior kicker from Carson (Carson City, Nev.) who booted a 64-yard, game-winning field goal. 'I knew it would be a big story around here,' Pacheco said. He just had no idea how big. Pacheco's kick on Oct. 1 against Bishop Manogue (Reno, Nev.) made national news, with stories appearing in print and online publications across the country, and videos of his long-range boot popping up on several websites. In the past week and a half, he has fielded numerous interview requests, including three from radio stations located on the East Coast. Everybody, it seems, wants to speak to Pacheco.... Pacheco's kick, which admittedly was aided by a strong breeze and the approximately 4,500-foot elevation in Reno, is tied for the fifth-longest in high school history, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book. It is also the second-longest in Nevada history, trailing only the 68-yarder by Dirk Borgognone of Reno in 1985, which stands as the national record.... Pacheco, who missed wind-blown 47- and 50-yard attempts to the right earlier, hit an absolute laser that ensured there wouldn't be a block. And it was aimed exactly where Pacheco wanted, allowing the wind to push it through the uprights with plenty of room to spare. 'It probably would have been good from 70,' Roman said. 'I really went out there with nothing to lose and just went out swinging,' Pacheco said. 'I knew I hit it pretty flush. Once I saw the wind take it to the right, that's when I knew it was in. I learned from it. I played it right where I wanted to play it'." - MaxPreps
  • 58 Esteban Bravo, Sparks, 2011 
  • 58 Zach Davis, Moapa Valley, 2003
  • 57 Clint Stitzer, McQueen (2001 vs. Foothill)
  • 55 Jorge Islas, Truckee (2004 vs. Fernley)
  • 54 Shane Goodale, Lowry (2004 vs. Damonte Ranch)
  • 54 Lance Terry, Moapa Valley (1995 vs. Pahrump Valley)
  • 54 Ben Jackle, Bonanza (2004 vs. Rancho)
  • 51 Darrin Glass, Elko (1994 vs. Churchill County)
  • 51 Jay Mattox, Las Vegas (2010 vs. Cimarron-Memorial)
  • 50 Collin Ditsworth, Bishop Gorman (2010 vs. Spring Valley)
  • 50 Jeffery Young, Whittell (2004 vs. Battle Mountain)
  • 50 Anthony Silva, Reed, 2011

Mind Over Foot, part 5: Zombies

This Halloween, it comes as no surprise that the majority of kids will be dressed up as either a zombie, a monk, or a kicker. While those three costumes initially appear to be completely unrelated, upon closer inspection we discover a common thread. To find that thread we have to delve into the mind.

Monks in their aspiration for enlightenment and kickers in their aspiration for making field goals, both seek the suspension of conscious thought... a state-of-being that defies description simply because there is "no mind" present in that state to observe and record it. So what is actually happening in the brain when the practitioner is literally "out of his mind?"

Neurologist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran addresses this phenomenon in his "Zombie In The Brain" theory. According to Dr. Ramachandran, the brain is not "like a computer," as the popular description goes. Instead, the brain is highly decentralized, consisting of specialized regions that make specific interconnections. Despite the common understanding that a single function (seeing, for example) involves several anatomical structures and brain regions, he describes the brain as being far more complex than we have previously imagined. 

Using the example of vision, there are evolutionarily "old" centers and pathways - such as those that recognize and interpret movement - that operate independently from "newer" mechanisms (those that interpret the movement and form a response). These old pathways are located deep in the center of the brain and brain stem and direct our life experience in ways that we are unaware of as long as the newer pathways are operable. This "old" brain is Ramachandran's "zombie."

What sorts of things does the zombie do best? It seems that orienting the body in space is a primary function. Ramachandran points out that a task as simple as reaching for and grasping something requires significantly refined sensory-motor coordination. In neurology patients whose whose centers for conscious processing of objects is damaged, this skill remains intact (they can't identify a banana or a block of wood, but they can accurately grasp and handle the "unknown" object). Once a baby's zombie systems are up and running (literally), they hum along for most of a lifetime, mobilizing the body through a myriad of activity.

For the monk, subduing the conscious feedback loop restores both physical existence and mental life to its innate simplicity.
The Master doesn't think about his actions;
they flow from the core of his being.
- Lao Tzu
For the kicker and other athletes, the temporary suspension of the conscious feedback mechanism allows the zombie to perform a learned action without interference.
"It’s when you start thinking you get in trouble. At that point, if you can’t turn off your mind and simply operate on muscle memory you’re screwed. The doubt will 99.9% of the time get the best of you."
- kicker Tyler Fredrickson
For the actual zombie, things are pretty straight-forward.
" Brains, brains, brains...."
- anonymous zombie

High School Long Kicks - Tennessee

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Tennessee.
  • 62 Jeff Hall, Franklin County HS (Winchester) v Oak Ridge HS, 11/19/1991
  • 62 Jeff Hall, Franklin County HS (Winchester) v Brentwood Academy, 10/16/1992 

  • 61 Kody Bliss, Brentwood Academy during 3-10 loss to McCallie School (Chattanooga), 9/28/2001
  • 61 Tyler Norris, Donelson Christian Academy v Greenbrier, 10/ /2001
  • 60 Alex Sigmon, Tennessee High during 60-16 win over David Crockett HS, 9/2/2011, Free kick after fair catch
  • 59 Courtney Leavitt, Germantown, 1995
  • 58 Ki Tok Chu, Glencliff vs. Hillsboro, 1984
  • 57 Rafael Gaglianone, Baylor vs. Ensworth, Oct. 25, 2013
  • 57 Ben Ogle, Greeneville vs. West Greene, Oct. 1, 2011
  • 57 Ben Stafford, McCallie vs. LaVergne, Nov. 8, 1996

Thursday, October 30, 2014

High School Long Kicks - Washington

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Washington.
  • 67 Austin Rehkow in Central Valley's 62-55 overtime win over Shadle Park on October 18, 2012.
"Most of the crowd of just less than 1,000 – with a sparse turnout by CV followers – was still around when, as time expired [in regulation], Austin Rehkow drilled a 67-yard field goal [to tie the game] – believed to have tied the second-longest field goal in national high school history. The field goal broke the Washington state record. The kick exceeded his previous best by 11 yards. 

Rehkow asked CV coach Rick Giampietri to let him try the tying field goal. 'This was our only shot and he took it,' Giampietri said. 'He said ‘You put me out there and I’ll do it.’ It was crazy.'

'I felt confident in my leg strength,' Rehkow said. 'I went out there and you get that extra adrenaline going. I let it rip. Luckily it stayed through the uprights and once I saw the arms go up [from the referees] it was just an overwhelming feeling of joy'. Rehkow said that he had attempted a few kicks from 67 yards during an overly windy practice Tuesday. 'To be truthful, we kicked some 67-yarders two days ago with the wind behind me and I didn’t make any of those,' Rehkow said. 'So to be able to do that in a game is just a great feeling.'
Rehkow received a partial offer from Eastern Washington University this week. The attention from his feat will undoubtedly bring him more attention. 'I’m going to keep my options open,' Rehkow said. 'Hopefully, some offers arrive. I’m grateful for the one that Eastern’s proposed and hopefully we get some more coming in here. I couldn’t have done it without a great team putting me in the position. The line gave me enough time. Great snap, great hold. It’s a real humbling experience to hold the (GSL) record now'."
"I kicked it and I was a little bit worried it was going to be a little bit left. It started to straighten out for me, and from 67-yards out it's kind of hard to tell if it goes over the bar or is just short of it. I really just had to wait for the refs to put their arms up for me. To get it with no wind, and especially to [get a chance to] win the game, it's a special feeling."
"According to lore, Imhoff's kick was a dropkick — he dropped the ball on the ground and kicked it in one motion. If that explanation isn't clear, ask your grandfather to explain it."
"The placekicker set a state-record when he kicked a 59-yard field goal to win a game during the hey day of Eagles' football. Walford went on to kick at Oregon State University."
"It was a long wait for Randy Jones and the Ferris Saxons.  At least for Jones it was worth it. Jones kicked a Ggreater Spokane League-record 59-yard field goal to high-light the Saxons' 22-0 win over Rogers at Albi Stadium on Thursday night. The record and Ferris' near-flawless performance were long-expected. But while it was too late for the Saxons, Jones solidified his reputation as the best kicker in GSL history. 'I had a pretty good feeling all summer,' said Jones, who had three field goals over 50 yards last season, including a 57-yarder that tied the league mark, 'I'm glad it kicked in'."
  • 57 Kendall Van Horne, Cheney, 1988
  • 57 Randy Jones, Ferris, 1993

High School Long Kicks - Delaware

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Delaware.
  • 57 James Ohliger, Tatnall HS in 34-18 loss to St. Andrew’s, 11/13/ 2003
"James carried the ball 31 times for 262 yards and 2 TD’s in the Hornets 34-18 loss to St. Andrew’s. Ohliger made history when he kicked a State record 57-yard field goal, breaking his own State record of 54 yards. The kick was originally said to be from 58 yards, but after review of the tape it was ruled to be from 57." - Rivals
  • 54 James Ohliger, Tatnall HS in 17-20 loss to Archmere HS, 10/13/2002 
"Tatnall's James Ohliger kicked a state-record 54-yard field goal, but it was not enough as the Hornets lost 20-17 to visiting Archmere on Saturday.... "It was going to the right, but then it just curved back, and when it was halfway [there] I knew it was good," said Ohliger, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound junior." - Delawareonline
  • 52 Jonathan Ohliger, Tatnall HS, 1995 (James' older brother)

High School Long Kicks - Alaska

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Alaska.
  • 53 yards Bryan Maley, Chugiak HS in 41-0 win over East HS (Anchorage), 9/17/2010 
"Maley's 53-yard field goal last week in a Cook Inlet Conference victory over East is the longest field goal in state history, surpassing the 52-yarder he authored against Dimond three weeks earlier. Maley has made five field goals this season, converted 16 of 17 extra points, averaged nearly 40 yards per punt and often boomed kickoffs that resulted in touchbacks. 'He can hit you from a lot of angles,'' coach Duncan Shackelford said. 'Even when we're in position for a 45- or 50-yard field goal, if we do our jobs right, he'll make it. If you don't respect him, he'll punt it over your head. And all those touchbacks prevent the other team from getting the momentum of a big kickoff return. It's a neat weapon to have'.... Maley, who grew up as a soccer player and cross-country runner, stumbled upon the idea of kicking as a freshman. He went to watch some friends play a C team game and discovered the Mustangs were missing something. 'I noticed they didn't have a kicker, so I said, 'What the heck, I'll try it,'  Maley said. Volunteer kicking coach Scott Minor took notice. 'I told him to come up and work with us on varsity whenever he could,'' Minor said. 'He started getting pretty serious and started creating himself as a kicker'." - Alaska Dispatch News
  • 52 yards Bryan Maley, Chugiak HS in 13-7 win at Dimond HS, 8/27/2010
  • 49 yards Nathan Oliver, Chugiak HS in 52-7 win over Eagle River, 9/15/2007 
"The team also secured a state record to boot, or rather off the boot of senior place-kicker Nathan Oliver, who kicked a 49-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter. 'It's nice to see good things happen to good people. It's really cool. He has worked so hard,' said Chugiak head coach Duncan Shackelford of the second-year varsity team member. Oliver had ample opportunity for practice both before and after the record-setting kick, hitting three successful extra points before and four after, for a perfect 8-for-8 day. In addition, Oliver scored two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter, contributing 27 points individually. " - Alaska Star
  • 48 yards Lee Sullivan, Juneau HS v. Chugiak HS, 9/13/2002 
  • 47 yards Kyle Schierholt, Chugiak HS in 42-0 win over West Valley, 8/14/2004

Sam Houston State Bearkats Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

October 29, 2014 - fall specialists
"Junior punter Lachlan Edwards from Hastings, Victoria in Australia set a Bearkat school record with his 49.8 average on five punts at Northwestern State. The previous record of 49.5 yards stood for 16 years. It was set by Ryan Klaus versus Angelo State, 1998. Edwards’ punts covered 39, 49, 53, 51 and a season best 57 yards. Edwards ranks 2nd in the Southland Conference and No. 5 nationally in FCS with a 44.5 average. He has 17 punts of 50 or more yards this year. Thirteen have resulted in field position inside the 20 for SHSU foes and 15 have been fair caught.... All-Southland Conference kicker Luc Swimberghe is one of only seven kickers in FCS play still perfect in their field goal attempts this fall. Swimberge is 10-of-10.The sophomore from Tyler earned Southland "Special Teams Player of the Week" honors after the McNeese victory. He kicked a season-best 44-yard field goal (the second longest of his career) and was 5-of-5 on PATs against the Cowboys." - KBTX

July 16, 2014 - punter Lachlan Edwards named to watch list
"Edwards has earned a spot on the 2014 CFPA Punter Award Watch List, as announced by College Football Performance Awards. The initial watch list includes 38 returning performers, vying for the top punter award in the Football Championship Subdivision. Edwards led the Southland Conference in punting during the 2013 season with an average of 42.3 yards on 31 kicks. The interdisciplinary studies major from Hastings, Victoria, Australia, had a season long boot of 70 yards in the Bearkats’ FCS playoffs second round game in Hammond, La." - Bearkats

July 7, 2014 - kicker Luc Swimberghe named to watch list
"Swimberghe, a sophomore from Tyler / Lindale High School, has earned a spot on the 2014 College Football Performance Awards FCS placekicker award watch list. Swimberghe was the leading scorer for Sam Houston in 2013 with 97 points (eight field goals and 73 successful point-after attempts. His 97 points stand as the third-highest kick-scoring total by a Bearkat special teams player." - Bearkats

High School Long Kicks - West Virginia

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with West Virginia.
The Wildcat specialist boomed a kick for a [then] state record only five yards shy of the national high school record. That field goal tied Hogshead for the state record for career field goals at nine. But it wasn't too long ago that the field goal was a rare occurrence in a high school football game. Going back five to 10 years few schools even bothered to kick extra points. According to Daily Mail records there was only one successful field goal in the KVC in 1955, that by Dieter Garrett of Dunbar. In 1965 there were two by Jim Fout of DuPont and Danny Curry of St Albans. More recently there were only two made in 1972 and five in 71. In 1970 the total was zero. The field goal boom began locally in 1973 with the emergence of specialists like Paul Engle of East Bank and Eddie Hamrick of Herbert Hoover. There was a total of 11 that season with Engle having four. Then last year the total ballooned to 15. Hogshead and Mike Cherry of St. Albans booted five each and Engle had three. This season the field goal beat goes on. In just four weeks of play already 10 have been made by five different kickers. Second behind Hogshead is South Charleston's Mark Lyons with three in addition to 11 extra points. He's the top scorer overall with 20 points while Hogshead has 18.

Probably the biggest reason for the increase in field goals is the impact of televised football according to a sampling of KVC coaches. The first field goals I saw were in professional recalled Nitro coach Pat Vance. A lot of boys have worked on kicking on their own. John Hogshead has been kicking since the eighth grade and the junior high here has another good one coming up. 'John's the best', Vance stated, 'Anytime we're on the 40 or closer in we don't hesitate to use him if we're stopped. He's kicked from 60 yards in practice and the the other day was at the top of the posts when it crossed. We'll use him in place of a punt a lot of times.' According to Dunbar's Delmar Good Kids are beginning to work on kicking more. They see the pro games and will work on their own then a coach can help them. You have to have a kid who's pretty dedicated and wants to spend extra time working on kicking. Charleston High coach Frank Vincent says there's more to it than TV. The one obvious reason is that kids are working on it now more than ever he said. Second, most of those who have been kicking recently are specialists, unlike Larry Green who also plays linebacker and offensive tackle for us. Another thing is that coaches don't want to end up in a tie game. They want to have the field goal ready to use in overtime.
In a regular season game against Midland Trail, Fayetteville's Craig Williams broke records with a 55-yard field goal, the longest in the state this year. Last week, he broke his leg. Williams broke his left plant leg in gym class last week and had surgery Monday, and is lost for the year, said Coach Frank Spangler. Williams, who made his long kick against Midland Trail on Oct. 8, was also a tight end in the Pirates' wishbone formations.
  • 59 Corey Smith in Musselman High's 20-13 win over Central-Woodstock on 09/14/2007
Smith split the uprights with a 47-yarder in the second quarter, a feat rarely seen at the high school level in this area, to be sure. He topped himself and every other high school kicker in West Virginia history when he nailed a 59-yard field goal on a free kick less than a minute before halftime of the Applemen's 20-13 win over Central. Smith shattered the previous state record of 55 yards, which was set by Nitro's John Hogshead in 1975 and tied by Fayetteville's Craig Williams in 1999. The field goal came after Musselman's Ethan French made a fair catch on a punt at the Woodstock 49-yard line. With rain falling and Musselman without any timeouts, the Applemen decided to employ a little-used rule allowing for a free kick, in which the ball is either punted or placed on a tee for a kick. Smith put the ball on the tee and didn't have to worry about an onrushing opponent, only the words of his coach. When Musselman coach Denny Price was asked if he recalled what he said to Smith, Price said, "Yeah. 'Make the field goal.' "It definitely was in his range," Price said. "It was raining a little bit, but he's got a tremendously strong leg."

"The first thing that was going through my mind was confusion honestly. We had been trying to use this kick since my sophomore year, but had not been able to use it, therefore I did not really know how it worked. Did the field goal team go out on the field or what? There was a little confusion until we learned that the kickoff team would be put out. The field was wet from rain, so that presented another obstacle to overcome. I found a good spot that would allow me a firm plant and set my tee. Since I was not given the ball prior to the ready for play whistle, I had to tee it and take my steps rather quickly as opposed to normal. I took my steps and then a beep breath and thought just keep a good target line and make solid contact off my foot. I took my approach and made a good swing making sure to drive the ball slightly to avoid slapping the ball and getting under it too much. After my foot hit the ball I knew it was good even before I looked up. I did not have to take a very hard swing either because I trusted my leg and form so much.

I did not even think until half time, that it would have been a state record. I thought it was interesting how widespread the news was. I had numerous people tell me that they saw it in papers from all around even outside of the state. I had no idea that that would not even be my only attempt from 50+ yards either. I went 3 of 3 from 50+ on the year with one in the following game. I did not know how to top that performance for the next week leading up but as I said I hit a 50 yarder in that next game en route of going 4 of 4 on field goals with one to win the game as time expired. I had actually, in my mind, topped that performance from the week before (59 yarder).

The entire season for me was good. In the next to last game of the year I broke the state record, also for most field goals in a season. That record was broken last year I believe, but I think the 59 yarder will have to be another perfect scenario in order for it to fall."

Fred Mitchell Award October 2014 Recognizees, part 3

The Fred Mitchell Award recognized 29 place-kickers for their excellence on the football field and in the community during the month of October.

A blue-ribbon Selection Committee evaluates place-kickers that are nominated by their schools. Members of the Pro and/or College Football Hall of Fame on the Selection Committee include Tom Beck, Kevin Butler, Paul Hornung, Marv Levy, Steve McMichael, Don Pierson and Gale Sayers. Former football players and others that are active in their communities are also on the Selection Committee including Carl Allegretti, Sergio Castillo, Sean Gothier, Teddy Greenstein, Michael Husted, Dan Jiggetts, Rick Kolaczewski, Connie Kowal, Greg Loberg, Tom Lynch, Carol Monroe, Jeff Michalczyk, Mark Murphy, Patrick Murray, Rob Perry, Michael Ritchey, Jeff Schebler, Caroline Schrenker, Jay Sebben, Bob Thomas, Wolfe Tone, Todd Wilkins, Gary Zauner and Rob Zvonar. There are 12 former college or NFL place-kickers on the Selection Committee, including Schebler (the inaugural Fred Mitchell Award recipient in 2009 and the highest-scoring place-kicker in NCAA history at any level), Lynch (two-time recipient of the Award and the kicker on the 2011 NAIA National Champion Saint Xavier University Cougars), Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Murray (whose 25 FG’s in 2012 were just one shy of the all-time FCS record set by Nevada’s Tony Zendejas) and Castillo (the first Division II kicker to win the Award and who made 62 of 79 career field goals and 251 of 255 extra points).

In alphabetical order, the final third of the honorees for October 2014 are:

RYAN MCCRUM Southeast Missouri State University – FCS 
Sophomore from St. Charles, MO….leads the team in scoring with 68 points from 13 of 16 FG’s and 29 of 29 PAT’s….scored 8 points in 28-21 win over nationally-ranked Tennessee State on October 4 including career-long 55-yard FG….made 50+ yard FG’s in first three games in October…made 51-yard FG to force a 2nd OT at Murray State on October 11….averaging 62 yards in 48 kickoffs….actively involved in local Pink Up Cape Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives 

CODY NUZZO California University of Pennsylvania – Division II 
Senior from Bradford, PA….leads the team in scoring with 73 points from 13 of 16 FG’s and 34 of 34 PAT’s…scored 10 points in 43-32 win over Clarion on October 25….set school record with a 50-yard FG as time expired to force OT in 24-21 loss at nationally-ranked Bloomsburg on September 13…. 280 career points is 1st in school history for kickers….holds all-time school records with 171 PAT’s made, 41 FG’s made and 61 FG’s attempted….averaging 60 yards on 54 kickoffs….FCA Campus President for three years….mentored area church youth group on a weekly basis…offered summer lessons to high school kickers in the Pittsburgh area…Hammer Kicking Academy instructor for three years in Buffalo 

TOM OBARSKI Concordia University St. Paul (Minnesota) – Division II 
Senior from Burnsville, MN….leads the team in scoring with 61 points from 15 of 17 FG’s and 16 of 16 PAT’s….scored 13 points in 37-34 OT win over Upper Iowa on October 25….tied Upper Iowa at 34-34 in fourth quarter with 56-yard FG then made game-winning 42-yard FG in OT….56-yard FG is the longest in Division II this season….41 career FG’s made and 15 FG’s in a season are school records….had a streak making 14 straight FG’s….has scored 230 points in career….tied school record by making 3 FG’s in 4 career games of which 3 games have been in 2014….leads the NSIC in FG’s per game with 1.88 (ranks 3rd in Division II) and FG % with 88% (ranks 10th in Division II) and is the only NSIC kicker that has made all PAT’s….averaging 62 yards on 36 kickoffs….River Valley Church youth teacher….on-campus ministries and Bible study leader….drug education mentor to middle school children….high school camp volunteer….Feed My Starving Children volunteer…church student leader….volunteers for small group activities at church….served on overseas missions trip….helped raise over $6,000 for tsunami relief fund in Japan…supported and raised funds for Project Rescue 

HOUSTON RAY Henderson State University (Arkansas) – Division II 
Freshman from Owensboro, KY….2nd on the team in scoring with 78 points from 13 of 18 FG’s and 39 of 40 PAT’s….leads the conference in scoring….two-time GAC Special Teams Player of the Week….set school and conference records by scoring 19 points against Northwestern Oklahoma…set school record with 4 FG’s in that game….averaging 57 yards on 54 kickoffs….Reddie to Serve volunteer each semester to assist people in the local community….football team blood drive volunteer….reads to children at local elementary schools…helps clean-up local playgrounds 

ALDRICK ROSAS Southern Oregon University – NAIA 
Sophomore from Orland, CA….2nd on the team in scoring with 68 points from 7 of 9 FG’s and 47 of 47 PAT’s….scored 12 points in 66-16 win over College of Idaho on October 25….averaging 64 yards on 62 kickoffs….volunteered with the football team at the Jackson County Fuel Commission wood-cut 

MICHAEL SCHMADEKE University of Northern Iowa - FCS 
Junior from Waterloo, IA….leads the Panthers in scoring with 86 points from 20 of 22 FG’s and 26 of 26 PAT’s….scored 8 points including career-long 49-yard FG in 27-13 win over Western Illinois on October 25….scored 9 points in 27-16 win over South Dakota on October 11….scored career-high 20 points including 5 FG’s in 50-7 win over Tennessee Tech on September 27…. averaging 63 yards on 51 kickoffs…UNI Dance Marathon volunteer to raise money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals…avid Special Olympics volunteer throughout college….Country View Care Center volunteer 

KEVIN SHELDON Central College (Iowa) – Division III 
Senior from West Des Moines, IA….2nd on the team in scoring with 42 points from 4 of 8 FG’s and 30 of 31 PAT’s…. scored 11 points in 41-14 win over Loras on October 18….named to Team of the Week and Iowa Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following October 18 game….scored 9 points in 45-21 win over Coe on October 25….averaging 60 yards on 43 kickoffs….Vacation Bible School volunteer at church near his hometown….volunteered at The Landing organization that helps troubled teens….Color Run fundraiser volunteer to raise funds for Many Hands for Haiti to help improve the lives of people in Haiti…Midwest Kicking Camp volunteer to help coach high school kickers 

MASON STUDER Christopher Newport University (Virginia) – Division III 
Senior from Norfolk, VA….2nd on the team in scoring with 53 points from 7 of 10 FG’s and 32 of 34 PAT’s…. scored 8 points in 38-7 win over Averett on October 18….scored 9 points in 45-31 win over Greensboro on October 25….averaging 58 yards on 46 kickoffs….volunteered in the fall with Fear 2 Freedom, which is an initiative that partners with universities and a local hospital to provide essential after-care for victims of sexual assault….youth football volunteer in the summer including instructing kickers 

WILLIAM WILL University of Dayton (Ohio) – FCS 
Sophomore from Mokena, IL….2nd on the team in scoring with 64 points from 12 of 14 FG’s, 22 of 24 PAT’s and one TD…. scored a scoop-and-score fumble recovery 26-yard TD on a kickoff at Marist on October 11 which became an ESPN and social media sensation….2nd in the Pioneer Football League and 12th in FCS in scoring….scored on three consecutive plays – the PAT that made it 21-14, the kickoff fumble recovery TD and the ensuing PAT….49-yard FG in the season opener is the longest by a Dayton kicker in 30 years….volunteers with the football team at Rebuilding Together where the team skips a spring practice weekend to rebuild/renovate community buildings and homes of people who cannot complete the work themselves…Christmas on Campus volunteer

Illinois Wesleyan Titans Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

October 29, 2014 - punter Matt Kussmann
"The Tri-Valley High School graduate is ranked No. 1 nationally in NCAA Division III punting statistics with a 45.4 average, a whopping 1.1 yards ahead of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Nate Ray. 'He has a big-time leg. It's very explosive, and when he hits that ball correctly the ball just flies off his foot,' said IWU coach Norm Eash. 'He's come up with some big punts for us this year.' One of those was a 73-yard punt in the fourth quarter during last Saturday's home game against Elmhurst. That was the second longest punt in IWU history behind a 75-yarder by Bob Lenahan way back in 1938. Yet Kussmann didn't feel like celebrating. He would have preferred a 72-yard effort. 'It was the longest punt of my career, and I came off the field mad because it rolled in the end zone,'” said Kussmann." - Pantagraph

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

High School Long Kicks - Utah

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with Utah.
  • 62 Justin Sorensen for Bingham High in 35-36 loss to Jordan High School on September 7, 2007. 
"This kid is 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. He wears a size 13 1/2 shoe. His legs are twin fire hydrants. 'Yep, I'm the kicker,' he assures me, pointing to his T-shirt, which bears a picture of a place kicker. By now you've heard the stories about the Bingham kicker. The Internet blogs are replete with chatter of his prowess. TV stations have shown up at Bingham practices. Radio talk-show geeks are abuzz about his prodigious kicks. BYU fans are delirious at the prospect of him kicking for their team next season. The Deseret Morning News named Sorensen its Athlete of the Month for August. All of this fuss over a kicker? 'He's stronger than any kicker in the nation at any level,' says Dave Peck, Bingham's head coach. Don't be too quick to dismiss this as hyperbole. How many NFL kickers can drill a 62-yard field goal off grass with no wind aid? That's what Sorensen did last Friday night to break a 37-year-old state prep record. Such kicks are becoming routine for the Bingham senior. In a three-point win over Alta in the season-opener, he kicked field goals of 59 and 51 yards. He kicked a 62-yard field goal in the team's annual preseason Blue-White intrasquad game. He kicked a wind-aided 75-yard field goal for TV cameras during practice a couple of weeks ago."
  • 60 Cody Bradley for Parowan High in 30-13 win over Monticello High School on October 10, 2008.
"Everything came together for Parowan's Cody Bradley against Monticello last Friday. It was the third quarter and Parowan was up 27-0. The Rams had just gotten past the 50-yard line but were unsuccessful with a couple of run plays. Coach Matt Labrum wanted to punt the ball but his coaches suggested another option.'My other coaches were asking, 'Why not a field goal?' Labrum said. 'I looked at [Cody] and asked if he could get it and he said, 'Yep.' Not only did Bradley make the 60-yard field goal - by far the longest in the school's history - but he had an extra three or four yards to spare."
  • 60 Ross Caputo for Judge Memorial High School (Salt Lake City) in 3-0 win over Hillcrest High School on September 4, 1970.
“Friday, September 4, 1970, will be a day long remembered at Judge. On this windy, bright afternoon, Ross (Tiger) Caputo entered his name in the book of immortal accomplishments by kicking a remarkable 60-yard field goal. Judge was locked in a scoreless tie with the Huskies when Coach Gilbert Cordova called for what appeared to be an impossible attempt at 3 points. With a strong wind at this back, Ross booted the ball and everyone watched in amazement as it sailed easily over the cross bar. Recognition poured in from all across the nation, including a letter of congratulations from Ben Davidson, defensive end for the Oakland Raiders. Bill Marcroft, local TV sportscaster, presented Ross with a plaque of the bronzed shoe with which he kicked the goal.”
  • 59 Justin Sorensen, Bingham, 8-24-2007, vs. Alta 
  • 58 Michael Smith, Lone Peak, 10-10-2012, vs. Riverton 
  • 58 Kelly Terrill, Judge, 11-8-1985, vs. Bear River 
  • 57 Pete Caldwell, Davis, 11-3-2006, vs. Bingham 
  • 57 Alex Kos, Highland, 10-4-1983, vs. Layton 
  • 57 Curt Myrick, Jordan, 10-12-1988, vs. West Jordan 
  • 57 Coleman Peterson, Brighton, 9-16-2005, vs. Alta 
  • 57 Cade Schaerrer, Orem, 10-19-1989, vs. Pleasant Grove 
  • 57 David Walgamott, Cyprus, 10-27-2007, vs. Pine View

High School Long Kicks - North Carolina

Our series exploring the longest field goals at the high school level in each state continues with North Carolina.
  • 61 Cline Ingle for Burns High during L 3-48 loss to Shelby High on September 1, 2000
"Burns High graduate Cline Ingle still holds the North Carolina high school record for longest made field goal in a game and will be participating at the 2009 U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Vermont. For the average sports it's hard to imagine there is a link between football and snowboarding, but the former Burns kicker found one.

Local high school football fans might remember him for his amazing 61-yard field goal in a game against Shelby High in the fall of 2000, a kick that still stands as the longest in North Carolina high school. But Ingle says that while his place in the record book is nice, he expected to split the uprights. That's because the 2001 Burns grad was booting attempts from up to 68 yards out the previous day. That's all the more spectacular given that the NFL record for longest made field goal in a game is from 63 yards....

Ingle never got to try his leg redshirting for a year while at Catawba Community College before stops at Western Carolina and Caldwell Community, where he don't really think about it a lot. Ingle said 'my friends that still live around here give me crap about it'. Ingle doesn't need to. He's too busy these days with his newfound profession. The Cleveland County native who still lives here two months out the year in between peak boarding seasons in New Zealand, flew in on Sunday night to participate in the U.S. Open Snowboarding. 'Definitely the biggest tournament I'll be in this year' Ingle said of the U.S. which runs this week. The other main event on his calendar is during winter in New Zealand, a place that has been Ingle's home for five months. 'The prettiest place I've been' said Ingle 'people are nice and it's been a great'.

As for the link between football and Ingle says it's pretty simple, 'I think just being in athletics helps certain skills transfer. You got pressure on you as a kicker when you're playing football and it's the same kind of pressure you feel. Staying active and being athletic is a common thread between both'."
  • 60 Jackson Maples for the Pinecrest Patriots during a 20-28 loss to Reagan High on September 7, 2012
"Both Dillon Maples (left) and Jackson Maples have been outstanding place kickers for the Patriots. Jackson booted a 60-yard field goal last Friday to break his brother's school record of 51 yards. Jackson's boot was the second longest in N.C.'s high school history. “Dad (Tim Maples) was saying, ‘We need to at least get to the 40 (Reagan 40),’” Dillon went on. “I said, ‘That would be 57 yards and everything has to be perfect. We need to get into the 30s or 35 or something.’ He goes out there for 60 and I thought, we’ll see what happens.”
Earlier in the week, Jackson, a junior, Dillon and younger brother Carson, a freshman, did some kicking at West Pine Middle School. The previous summer, Dillon had earned the punting and kick-off specialist job for the UNC Tar Heels during preseason practice before deciding to sign a $2.5 million contract to pitch for the Cubs. “Dillon wanted to get back in the swing of kicking and see how it was,” Jackson said. “We were all holding for each other — just having a good time. Of course there was competition. There’s always competition. I’d say my kicks were farther, but his punting just kills my punting.”

In his second season as the Patriot place kicker, Jackson has been providing coach Chris Metzger’s squad with the same kind of special teams’ advantage it enjoyed when Dillon was there. In addition to his range on field goals, he has put most of his kickoffs in the end zone. He credits his brother with inspiring him. “Dillon was No. 6 in high school and I wanted to be No. 6,” he says. “I always wanted to follow in his footsteps — keep the Maples name up. He had crazy shoes to fill and I definitely look up to him a lot.”

Metzger has shown the same confidence in Jackson as he did in Dillon to go for long field goals. Even if the kick is missed, if the ball reaches the end zone, it comes out to the 20 under high school rules. When the Patriot coach gave him the call to attempt one from 60 yards away, a hip flexor he injured earlier in the season was acting up again. “When he called me out there, I was glad he had confidence in me,” Jackson said. “I thought I could make it because I have that distance. In the preseason kicking with friends, I kicked one from 75 and like three from 70. I was thinking I could probably make 65 in a game. Seventy would be pushing it unless I had some wind. So going into it I felt a little comfortable, I mean I had faith in myself.”

The crowd buzzed as the field goal team took the field with 22 seconds remaining in the half. Caleb Hendrix snapped the ball and holder Aaron Reimer placed it down on the midfield stripe. 'It came out low and at first I didn’t think it had a chance, Dillon recalled. 'And then it kept carrying and went through. I was dumbfounded. I don’t think you can put it in words. You can’t. I probably felt the same way Jackson did on my kick. I remember Ben Williams (holder) saying, ‘Let’s keep it low,' and I said, ‘Let’s do this.’ The snap and the hold were perfect then, too."
  • 58 Tyler Ashe, Shelby vs. Burns, September 22, 1995 
  • 58 Shon Rowser, East Dup lin vs. Southwest Onslow, November 7, 1997 
  • 58 Matt Wogan, Porter Ridge vs. North Davidson, November 23, 2012 (Porter Ridge 34-27) 
  • 57 Chris Leone, Greensboro Grimsley, vs. R.J. Reynolds, Oct. 7, 1991 
  • 57 Kevin Dodson, Camden vs. Gates County, Sept. 29, 1995 
  • 57 Chris Halubka, West Lincoln vs. Cherryville, Sept. 14, 2001 (West 14-3) 
  • 57 Tyler Lewis, Albemarle vs. Hendersonville, 2003 (Albemarle 17- 2) 
  • 57 Keith Cooper, St. Stephens vs. Hickory, October 23, 2009 (Hickory 21-17) 
  • 57 Paul Griggs, Charlotte Latin School, August 27, 2011

Fred Mitchell Award October 2014 Recognizees, part 2

The Fred Mitchell Award recognized 29 place-kickers for their excellence on the football field and in the community during the month of October.

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 is chosen based on excellence on the football field and in the community. The Award's Watch List is released in late July, 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 each February at the National Football Foundation Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.

In alphabetical order, the second third of the honorees for October 2014 are:

PAUL GRAHAM Wayne State University (Michigan) – Division II 
Freshman from Commerce Township, MI….2nd on the team in scoring with 60 points from 10 of 10 FG’s and 30 of 30 PAT’s….scored 12 points in 33-30 loss against Northern Michigan on October 18 including season-long 47-yard FG….packaged food at Gleaners Food Bank which is the largest not-for-profit organization providing food for hungry neighbors in Detroit and surrounding cities ... served as a coach in the NFL Play 60 Youth Camp that was held at Wayne State ... tutored fellow student-athletes in English during study table….participated in multiple Warrior Wednesdays where student-athletes distribute breakfast to fellow students and instructors as they arrive on campus 

ALEX HALLWACHS Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri) – Division III 
Junior from Chagrin Falls, OH.….leads the team in scoring with 45 points from 8 of 13 FG’s and 21 of 23 PAT’s….51-yard FG against Centre on September 27 is career high and 2nd longest in school history….tied school record going 8 of 8 in PAT’s in 59-19 win against Hendrix on October 11….Koaches 4 Kids volunteer…volunteered for 8 weeks to help young children in the inner city develop leadership, self-motivation and teamwork skills through soccer 

KRESIMIR IVKOVIC John Carroll University (Ohio) – Division III 
Senior from Euclid, OH … 2nd on the 7th ranked Blue Streaks in scoring with 64 points from 6 of 10 FG’s and 46 of 49 PAT’s … tied school’s all-time record with 35th FG against Capital on October 25….set the single-game JCU record with 11 PAT’s made in 80-0 win against Marietta on October 18…became school’s all-time leader in PAT’s against the Pioneers and now has 154 career PAT’s made….OAC Special Teams Player of the Week for performance against Marietta which included 11 PAT’s and 1 FG....averaging 62 yards on 63 kickoffs….point person behind Kick-It campaign to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer on JCU’s campus … Kick-It is a program designed to raise money for pediatric, adolescent and young adult cancer research … volunteers for Cultivating the Community, an initiative where the football team interacts with surrounding communities to drive positive growth … helped clean, paint and perform yard work at Saint Thomas Aquinas Elementary through Volunteers for Cultivating the Community … tutors elementary students in reading and mathematics once a week through Champs Roxboro, a grant-funded enriched program designed to serve the needs of at-risk youth in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District … coaches youth soccer team as part of Croatian Community of Cleveland … volunteered to help teach kicking and punting at the John Carroll University and Penn Hills High School camps … Worked Pre Cana at St. Basil 

REED JAMES Southwest Mississippi Community College - NJCAA 
reshman from Madison, MS … leads the team scoring with 44 points from 6 of 10 FG’s and 26 of 26 PAT’s …scored 10 points in 52-10 win over Coahoma Community College on October 9….averaging 60 yards on 19 kickoffs…volunteer mentor to two elementary school students in Bridges of Madison County Big Brother Big Sister program….Madison Chamber of Commerce Junior Ambassador assisting area businesses and volunteering during city events…church youth group volunteer including participation in local missions 

ADAM KELLER North Dakota State University – FCS 
Senior from Lewisberry, PA….leads the #1 ranked Bison in scoring with 80 points from 17 of 20 FG’s and 29 of 29 PAT’s…. scored 17 points in 47-7 win over South Dakota on October 25….set school record with 5 FG’s made against Montana…volunteer coach for Tri-City seventh grade soccer team…Rosewood Nursing Home volunteer…middle school tutor to special needs students….Special Olympics volunteer….Blue Key Honor Society Member 

SHANE KELLY Mount St. Joseph University (Ohio) – Division III 
Junior from Cincinnati, OH…leads the team in scoring with 55 points from 6 of 8 FG’s and 37 of 40 PAT’s…scored 9 points in 53-28 win over Hanover on October 11 including season-high 48-yard FG…averaging 55 yards on 58 kickoffs,… licensed at home provider for children and adults with special needs….adaptive ski instructor at Perfect North Slopes during the winter… recently completed his fourth annual campout for 25 Forest Hills School District high school and incoming high school special needs students, including recruiting and coordinating 12 student peers to create a one-on-one outdoors and overnight camping experience….serves on a non-profit Board for a charter school created for kids with special needs 

THOMAS KINNEY Southern Illinois University – FCS 
Senior from McHenry, IL….2nd on the Salukis in scoring with 59 points from 9 of 16 FG’s and 32 of 32 PAT’s….…. scored 11 points in 41-10 win over South Dakota on October 4…. averaging 62 yards on 52 kickoffs….volunteered with the football team in the annual Souper Bowl of Caring fundraisers in 2013 and 2014 to combat hunger and assist Good Samaritan Ministries and the Murphysboro Food Pantry….Special Olympics volunteer with the football team 

AVERY LLEWELLYN Colorado School of Mines – Division II 
Junior from Durango, CO….leads the team in scoring with 80 points from 14 of 20 FG’s and 38 of 40 PAT’s…. scored 14 points in 44-37 win over Western New Mexico on October 11….averaging 64 yards on 56 kickoffs….Project Merry Christmas volunteer in Durango where he worked with Durango Fire Department to deliver gifts to local families 

ABDUL MAHDI Saint Xavier University (Illinois) - NAIA 
Freshman from Chicago, IL….leads the Cougars in scoring with 56 points from 8 of 11 FG’s and 32 of 36 PAT’s…. scored 17 points in 53-26 win over St. Francis (Indiana) on October 11…. scored 6 points in 48-46 win over then-#11 William Penn on October 25….averaging 55 yards on 52 kickoffs….volunteered to help paint his high school alma mater in Chicago, Bogan High School….recently spent a day volunteering to clean-up Marquette Park, the largest park on the Southwest side of Chicago at 323 acres 

MICHAEL MARANDO Fordham University (New York) – FCS 
Senior from Brooklyn, NY….2nd on the team in scoring with 78 points from 12 of 16 FG’s and 42 of 42 PAT’s….scored 12 points in 48-27 win over Lehigh on October 25….averaging 59 yards on 64 kickoffs….worked with Habitat for Humanity Westchester in Breezy Point, N.Y. (close to his home in Brooklyn) as part of Sandy Saturday’s, helping the neighborhood recover from Hurricane Sandy (cleaned up debris, helped rebuild houses and more)… participated with P. O. T. S. (Part of the Solution) program serving lunch to homeless people and those who could not afford every meal of the day while also assisting in the P.O.T.S. pantry… participated with the Reach Out and Read program which seeks to provide parents/guardians and children with the knowledge, support, and materials necessary to make books a part of their lives (read stories aloud to children in the waiting area)