the study of all things kicker related
Showing posts with label SIFL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SIFL. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Unknown Kick

Sometimes you were there to see it, and other times it's captured for posterity. But many things in this world go undocumented (although perhaps increasingly less so in the modern age). What is the most memorable kicking/punting moment that you ever witnessed, but of which the general public/media is not aware? 

"I'm from Miami Florida, a.k.a. hurricane and tropical storm country. One year we went out and kicked just a couple hours before a big storm hit, with winds gusting probably over 50-60mph. Standing in one endzone, I got into a sidewinder/rugby-style punt that I'm surprised didn't go into orbit. With the wind at my back, the ball spiraled high and tight the distance of the field, bounced in the other endzone and rolled another 50+ yards until it hit a fence. Easily over 95 yard punt in the air." 

"The scrambling drop kick I hit last year on the run in the last regular season game after a bad snap. It was the most ridiculous play I think I will ever accomplish."

"One that keeps coming back to me was a few seasons ago in Modesto California. I was working privately with the Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski and he was kicking 65, then he went back to like 77 yard field goals and was clearing them like extra points, and kicking off 4.4 plus over the uprights. Jason Wells from the Dallas Desperadoes was also in session. What can I say, it was awesome. In talking about the technique, after Sebastian just said, "it's really working good" and he went on this run of touchbacks from that point on leading the NFL. Good Memory." 

"This question reminds me of a quote that I once read from Gary Anderson. He said that, "I find that if I make my kicks in the 1st quarter, I usually don't have to make them in the 4th."

Friday, July 1, 2011

SIFL Championship: Geoff Boyer vs. Blake Bercegeay

Another of the indoor football leagues reaches its grand finale this weekend:
The Southern Indoor Football League’s third championship game will take place on Saturday, July 2 when the Albany Panthers (12-2) host the Louisiana Swashbucklers (10-4) in the James H. Gray Civic Center. Pre-game festivities start at 7 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. It’s the first championship game appearance for Albany, who defeated the defending SIFL champion Columbus Lions 75-61 in the East finals on Saturday. Louisiana will make its third SIFL championship appearance in as many years after dispatching previously unbeaten Houston 56-41 Monday in the West finals. Last year, the Swashbucklers upset Albany for a berth in the title game.
In preparation for the game, we take a quick look at the two key players (the kickers for each team).

Albany Panthers, Geoff Boyer
Geoff took over the kicking for the Panthers part way through this season. Last month, he added a new twist - the drop kick. The higher scoring play has occasionally appeared in other indoor leagues, however this was an apparent first for the SIFL:
"I like doing it. I hadn’t planned on kicking it on that play, but I was just scrambling and I just thought, ‘Why not?’. I was a goalie growing up and playing soccer,’’ Boyer said. “About half the goalies use a drop-kick. I liked it because you can get more drive into the ball and it doesn’t go as high, so I always did it.... This has been great. I feel pretty confident (with the drop-kick), but it’s up to the coach. If he wants me to do it, I’ll do it."

Louisiana Swashbucklers, Blake Bercegeay
We recently checked in with Blake on this year vs. last year:
"Last year snuck up on us it seems. This year we've been battling back to get to where we know we should be. As far as what I've done, nothing has changed other than mind set and knowing I will do my best no excuses. If I'm playing I'm playing. Miss and forget, make and forget. Trust your training and your skills and the score board and crowd will tell you if you made it. Your teammates and brothers too. One small other thing, keep your HEAD DOWN!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Altum Percurrere Umbraticis Calcitronis

High Scoring Indoor Kickers? The goal posts are narrow, very narrow. The ceilings are often low and obstructed. The extra point attempts are typically more plentiful than field goal attempts.
Today we take a quick look at this year's current top three scoring kickers in each of the indoor football leagues.
  • 73 Marc Capozolli, Jacksonville Sharks (58-76 PATs, 5-7 FGs, 8.1 ppg) 
  • 73 Taylor Rowan, Spokane Shock (67-72 PAts, 2-3 FGs, 8.1 ppg) 
  • 72 Juan Gamboa, San Jose SaberCats (60-73 PAts, 4-5 FGs, 8.0 ppg)
  • 52 Tyler Lorenz, Marion Blue Racers (31-44 PATs, 7-16 FGs, 6.5 ppg) 
  • 42 Julie Harshbarger, Chicago Knights (18-23 PATs, 8-14 FGs, 6.0 ppg) 
  • 40 Jeff Hubbard, Dayton Silverbacks (25-35 PATs, 5-23 FGs, 4.4 ppg)
  • 122 Garrett Courtney, Allen Wranglers (47-56 PATs, 25-42 FGs, 11.1 ppg) 
  • 119 Parker Douglass, Sioux Falls Storm (101-105 PATs, 6-12 FGs, 11.9 ppg) 
  • 108 Chris Nendick, Chicago Slaughter (45-55 PATs, 21-37 FGs, 10.8 ppg)
  • 118 Craig Camay, Trenton Steel (67-76 PATs, 17-29 FGs, 13.1 ppg)
  • 79 J.R. Cipra, Harrisburg Stampede (28-34 PATs, 17-41 FGs, 8.8 ppg)
  • 64 Craig Wissler, Abilene Ruff Riders (43-49 PATs, 7-15 FGs, 8.0 ppg)
  • 96 Dustin Zink, Northern Kentucky River Monsters (90-101 PATs, 2-8 FGs, 8.0 ppg)
  • 55 Chris Kollias, Saginaw Sting (55-74 PATs, 0-8 FGs, 5.0 ppg)
  • 52 Daniel Eidson, Eastern Kentucky Drillers (34-39 PATs, 6-15 FGs, 4.7 ppg)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Southern Kicking, part 2

Last week we previewed eight of this year's kickers in the Southern Indoor Football League. With 16 teams in the league (actually now only 15 after some late breaking news), that leaves with eight more kickers to discuss:

Harrisburg Stampede, J.R. Cipra (Ohio Northern)
"Cipra, a four-time All-Pro kicker, who has led league kickers in scoring three straight seasons, has been signed by the Harrisburg Stampede. In 2010 Cipra helped lead the Baltimore Mariners to an undefeated national championship with several key field goals. Cipra first gained notice as a kicker for Mayfield High School of Mayfield Heights, Ohio. He twice was named to the All-Greater Cleveland Conference team and as a senior in 1996 was named second team All-State. He then went on to letter for four seasons at Ohio Northern University where he was named All-Ohio Athletic Conference in 1999 and 2000, received national player of the week honors in 2000, and was named Division 3 All-American as a senior. He still holds a host of Ohio Northern records including longest field goal (47 yards) and most field goals in a career (19). Cipra made his pro debut with the Peoria Pirates of the Arena Football League 2 (af2) in 2001. Between 2005 and 2008 he shuffled between Erie, Pennsylvania and Canton, Ohio playing for Erie in 2005, 2007, and 2008 and the Canton Legends in 2006 and part of 2007. With Canton he won his first league championship. In 2009 he signed with the Baltimore Mariners."
Houston Stallions, Jon Thompson (Bluffton)
"Thompson was named to the Watch List for the 2009 Fred Mitchell Award. He led the Beavers in scoring in 2008, going 10-of-10 on PAT's and 7-for-11 on field goals. He was named second team All-Heartland Conference. After scoring 11 points in Bluffton's 23-15 victory over Kalamazoo on Sept. 27, 2008, he was selected HCAC Special Teams Player of the Week. Thompson was also active in community service during his time at Bluffton. He assisted with flood prevention efforts during the March 9, 2009 crisis, working with the football team to fill bags with nearly 18 tons of sand. In addition, Thompson raised funds and awareness for victims of domestic and family violence in the Crossroads Crisis Center’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event and he volunteered to beautify the grounds of the Maple Crest and Mennonite Memorial Home."
Lafayette Wildcatters, John Corbello (LSU)
"The second season of the Lafayette Wildcatters indoor football team will not take place after all. The Wildcatters and the Cajundome announced Friday in a joint press release that the 2011 season had been canceled due to the unavailability of workers compensation insurance to legally proceed with the start of the season. 'It is with complete regret that the Lafayette Wildcatters are forced to cancel their 2011 season due to Louisiana Workers Compensation laws,' Cajundome Director Greg Davis said."
Louisiana Swashbucklers, Blake Bercegeay (McNeese State)
" 'I love music,' he says. 'Always have.' His father Shane led him to music when he was in the sixth grade. 'My Dad played in a band (named Pegasus) and he wanted me to play. He played a trumpet and a trombone but the first day of band tryouts, I picked out a saxophone,' Bercegeay said. He played that instrument throughout high school but says that he hasn't played it since. 'I've been playing the guitar for the past few years. I got some graduation money and bought one in Gonzales. I had it until I bought a new Takamine from Lake Charles Music.' "
Mobile Bay Tarpons, Trey Crum (Delta State)
Terry High School 1997-1999, Hinds Community College 2001-2002, Delta State University 2003-2004 (First team All-American, First team All-GSC), Mississippi Mudcats 2008 (AIFA) holds points scored by a kicker in a single game (22), El Paso Generals 2009 (IFL) holds longest field goal made in a single game (61) yards, Columbus Lions 2010 (SIFL) holds most points scored in a season (136)
Richmond Raiders, K/WR/DB Chris Segaar (Virginia Tech)
Segaar has previously played for the Richmond Revolution (IFL), Richmond Bandits (AIFL), Roanoke Wrath (soccer), Roanoke Steam (af2), Charleston Swamp Foxes (af2), and Tennessee Valley Vipers (af2). "Segaar's scrapbook is brimming with football and soccer headlines. In helping Annandale to the 1993 Group AAA state football title, he made a game-winning field goal in the semifinals vs. Thomas Dale. Then, he had a 54-yard touchdown reception in the final against Pulaski. At the time, football was his second sport. He was also first-team all-state in soccer. Segaar's speed made him a natural for any sport. He enrolled at Tech as a recruited walk-on with the idea of playing both sports. 'At the time, my goal was pro soccer,' he said."
Rio Grande Valley Magic, Leo Araguz (Stephen F. Austin State)
"Araguz, a Harlingen native who graduated from Harlingen High, was a punter for four NFL teams, primarily the Oakland Raiders, and one in the XFL during his 10-year career. He last played in an NFL game in 2005 with the Seattle Seahawks before a preseason stint with the Baltimore Ravens in 2006. Now 41, Araguz has two children with a third due next week and is the oldest player on the Magic and doesn’t harbor any hopes of getting back into the NFL. He owns Harlingen-based Araguz Construction.... But the urge to play football as well is still strong, 'It’s always been fun for me. It’s not so much for me to get back in the league or for me to make money. It’s none of that, obviously,' Araguz said. 'It’s just pretty much going out and staying in shape. If I can still do it, I can turn another stone in my career. I’ve played pretty much in every league out there except for the Canadian league,' he added. 'Might as well try something close by and let the local people come out and entertain them and see what we can do.' "
Trenton Steel, Craig Camay (UT-Chattanooga)
"Camay earned Associated Press Second Team All-America honors as a University of Tennessee-Chattanooga senior in 2009. During his last two seasons with the Mocs, Camay hit 19-of-21 field-goal attempts from inside the 40-yard line. In addition to his conventional accuracy, Camay is a master of the drop kick. Indoor Football rules award an extra point for each extra point or field goal converted with a drop kick. He fits the perfect profile for the Indoor game, in which kicking accuracy is more important than kicking power. 'I think I can make a difference for our team,' said Camay. 'I’m looking forward to contributing.' A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Camay came to the United States in 1997."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Southern Kicking, part 1

We've already previewed this year's kickers in the UIFL, the CIFL, the IFL, and the AFL. From an indoor perspective, that leaves us with just the SIFL (Southern Indoor Football League). Starting at the beginning of the alphabet, following is the first half of the kickers.

Abilene Ruff Riders, Craig Wissler (West Virginia State)
We spoke to Craig and discovered the road to Abilene passes through Erie, "I just finished up my senior season in college in 2010. The indoor game really interests me so I went up to a tryout in Erie Pennsylvania. The coach already had a kicker there, but I had a really good tryout (14 of 15 PATs and 4 of 4 FGs, so he decided to call up his buddy Coach Fox [the Rough Riders defensive coordinator]. We talked and they brought me in…. One thing I’m learning is that kicking here is different than the outdoor game. So far getting adjusted to the small goal posts hasn’t been too difficult. It’s the same kick; you just have to be a little bit more accurate. As far as the ceilings go, our ceiling at our arena is a little bit low, so adjusting to driving the kickoff a little bit more than you would as far as hang time is pretty much the main difference. We also do a lot more onside kicks, so those have to be crisp versus the outdoor game. Those are the main differences that I’ve encountered so far."
Alabama Hammers, Kenny Spencer (University Of North Alabama)
We spoke to Kenny, a.k.a. Trick Shot King, regarding his road to the SIFL, "They were actually trying to get my roommate to play with them and he is a QB. They talked him into going to a work out, then he asked coach do you have a kicker. He said no, so I went to the tryout, which I just came out fresh from my Titans work out. We arrived at the workout and I kicked 2 onside kicks and it was a wrap, lol. Then that's the day I became a Hammer!... This league is no joke, we have players that can play in all areas. The only thing that I dislike right now is not being able to kick off into the net. I have to place the ball high and in front of the boards. It's what it is though. I'm just really excited for our first game on Sat. March 19th!"
Albany Panthers, Wes Virgilio (Victor Valley JC)
"The other addition is Wes Virgilio, a kicker with some rather large shoes to fill. Juan Bongarra — who was not only a fan favorite, but arguably as good or better than any kicker in the SIFL — was so good that he has moved up to Arena 1 Football and is playing for Tulsa this season. 'I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I think I can do it,’ said Virgilio, who was a kicker with Albany’s former arena team, the South Georgia Wildcats in 2007. He brings a strong leg and a penchant for kicking high bouncing on-side kicks."
Carolina Speed, Bruce Reinecker (West Liberty State College)
"Bruce is an established indoor football veteran and a former Arena Football League kicker with the N.Y. Dragons and Chicago Rush. He played in the Arena Football League, AF2, American Indoor Football Association, United Football League and the National Indoor Football League. He holds several indoor kicking records at the AF2 level in addition to being a two time AF2 all-star recipient."
Columbus Lions, Austin Miller (Army)
After being the starting kicker for the U.S. Military Academy from 2003-2004 and 2006, Capt. Austin Miller said had no intentions of pursuing a career in professional football. He loved the Army too much. When he ventured across the street from his home to Doughboy Stadium during last fall’s Doughboy Classic, he had no idea he would have the chance to be the new place-kicker for the Columbus Lions. 'I live right across the street from the stadium and one day I just walked across to check out practice (for the Doughboy Classic) and I ran into John Hargrove,' Miller said. Hargrove is part-owner of the Columbus Lions.... Gibson invited Miller to a practice session in December to test out his leg and his accuracy. 'I ran him through some kicking drills and we charted him,' Gibson said. 'He kicked pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised.' Gibson called Miller that night to tell him he wanted him to kick for the Lions this season. 'My first reaction was, ‘Can I really do this?’ Miller said. 'I think I was worried I was going to stretch myself too thin. My wife wanted me to play because she didn’t know me in college. She was excited about it.' "
Corpus Christi Hammerheads, Darren Brown (Wofford College)
"Brown’s legal practice will continue to take a back seat to his love for sports and his entrepreneurial spirit. Darren owns and manages both SoccerZone South Austin and ASA (Austin Sports Arena), providing a unique perspective and that allows him to think outside the box in formulating solutions to challenges that arise."
Erie Explosion, Shon Rowser (Western Carolina)
"The veteran kicker returns to Erie for the 2011 season. Rowser joined Erie for part of the 2010 season and immediately made his presence known. He was 5 of 9 on field goals and 14 of 18 on pats, and averaged 48.1 yards on 27 kickoffs. A reliable veteran kicker with a strong leg, Rowser has kicked for the Raleigh Rebels, Erie RiverRats, and the Augusta Spartans where he helped his team to the 2007 WIFL Championship."
Fayetteville Force, Derek Scott (Tennessee Tech)
"I have played indoor football for several teams: Florida Knights NIFL, Osceola Ghoastriders WIFL, Florence Phantoms AIFA and the Harrisburg Stampede AIFA. I am currently signed with the Fayetteville Force. I do not have the big leg as some of the others kickers in the league, but am usually toward the top in most kicking stats."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The 2011 "Off"- Season

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it may seem like another football season is almost over, but there will still be plenty of football and consequently kicking in the so-called off-season:

NCAA College football
East-West Shrine Game
January 22nd at 4 p.m. EST
- East squad: kicker Wes Byrum (Auburn) and punter Ryan Donahue (Iowa)
- West squad: kicker Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State) and punter Trevor Hankins (Arizona)
Under Armour Senior Bowl: January 29th at 4 p.m. EST
- Kickers Josh Jasper (LSU) and Kai Forbath (UCLA)
- Punters Chas Henry (Florida) and Alex Henery (Nebraska)
NFLPA (Texas vs. The Nation) Game: February 5th at 2 p.m. EST
- Texas squad: K Thomas Weber (Arizona State), P Derek Epperson (Baylor), and LS Larry Flaherty (Princeton)
- Nation squad: K Jacob Rogers (Cincinnati), P Matt Bosher (Miami FL), and LS Corey Adams (Kansas State)
Dixie Grid Iron Classic: February 5th
- Kickers Mitch Payne (BYU) and Bruno Cunha
- Punters Michael Langston (Dixie State) and Patrick Dolan (Nicholls State)
Pro Days Workouts: primarily in March

National Football League (NFL)
NFL Scouting Combine: February 23rd - March 1st
- kickers: Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State), Kai Forbath (UCLA), Alex Henery (Nebraska), Josh Jasper (LSU), Jake Rogers (Cincinnati)
- punters: Matt Bosher (Miami FL), Ryan Donahue (Iowa), Reid Forrest (Washington State), Chas Henry (Florida)
- snappers: Danny Aiken (Virginia)
Free agent signing period begins March 3rd (unless a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached and the Lockout occurs)
NFL Draft: April 28th-30th
Minicamps and OTAs: primarily May & June

Canadian Football League (CFL)
CFL Evaluation Camp, March 4th -6th
- top kicking prospect: Hugh O’Neill, Alberta
CFL Draft: May 8th
Indoor Football Leagues
Arena Football League (AFL): season kicks off on March 11th
American Indoor Football Association (AIFA): season kicks off in March
- only the West division remains this year, as the East division merged into the SIFL
Indoor Football League (IFL): exhibition season begins in February
Southern Indoor Football League (SIFL): season kicks off March 18th
Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL): season kicks off on February 26th 
Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL): season kicks off on February 18th

Kicking Camps
Aguiar/Husted Pro Qualification Camp: February 12th-13th, Las Vegas
Aguiar/Husted Pro Camp: March 26th-30th, Las Vegas

American Football - global
Some European league's games have already begun for 2011
Team USA vs. The World: February 2nd

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

SIFL Championship: Trey Crum vs. Blake Bercegeay

The Southern Indoor Football League's (SIFL) championship game will be this Sunday July 18th at 6:00pm EST. As is often the case, the anticipated matchup is at the kicker position:

Trey Crum, Columbus Lions

Crum joined the Lions this year, after having previously kicked for Delta State, the Mississippi Mudcats, and the El Paso Generals. He led the SIFL in kicker scoring this year, hitting 72 of 82 PATs and 14 of 32 FGs. He was awarded the league's Special Teams MVP for the year. Last month Crum noted:
"This is definitely the best year I’ve had. I think its because I’m playing with an exceptional team. The chemistry is great between me and my holder, Gerald Gales, and snapper, Justen Rivers. They do a lot to help me out, and that makes a difference."

Blake Bercegeay, Louisiana Swashbucklers

Former McNeese kicker Bercegeay was on and off the Swashbuckler's roster, but ended the season as the starter. Despite playing in only six games, he finished fourth in the league in kicker scoring, going 29 of 40 on PATs and 4 of 21 on FGs. 

One of his first games was a win over Columbus, after which head coach Michael Warren said of Bercegeay:
"I think he surprised himself. He was pumped up through the whole game and really came through for us tonight. We are really proud of him and we are going to ride him all the way to the playoffs."