The Tiger Cub
Kickers Clash In OctoberWednesday, October 27, 2010 By Joel Philippi
A clear October afternoon, temperature mid-seventies, and one of the best football kickers Hastings Senior High School has seen in many years. It was another formidable foe to be facing this month, Tanner Jones. He has been kicking field goals for years and I was coming out to take him on with no prerequisites, and the goal was to beat him at three of the things that he excels at. We jumped right into the competitions with little to no teaching from Tanner. The first kicking competition was kick-offs. The competition was over before I knew it, my kick-off skills were a little less than mediocre and as for Tanner's...well if you have been to any of the Tiger football games this year you have seen almost any kickoff be a touchback...so it was not much of a competition at all. The second of the three competitions Tanner and I were set to go head-to-head in was punting. This I have had some prior experience in, playing playground football back in middle school, which I was hoping would make this competition a little closer. We went to the west end zone of the practice field and we were going to kick and see who would be able to kick the ball further through the air. I let Tanner do the honors and begin the punting portion of our game. He took his two steps and kicked the ball a mere fifty-five yards. Now it was my turned I stepped up and tried to do exactly what I had just seen Tanner do hoping that perhaps I would hit the ball with a little more force and in a little better spot allowing it to travel farther. No such luck. My kick traveled close to thirty-five yards, and that is pretty much how the rest of the punting portion went for both Tanner and me. His punts sailed through the air spiraling down after travel fifty or more yards, while mine wobbled end-over-end landing anywhere from the twenty-yard line to almost the forty. I had one last chance to show up Tanner and get another tally in the win column. It was going to be quite a task. Tanner had saved the hardest and what he does best for last. Field Goals. Tanner is well known for being able to kick a field goal from ridiculous lengths. He has made a field goal, off the ground during practice from sixty yards away! I on the other hand was not sure if I would be able to get the ball to go high enough to go through the uprights. This Time I went first so that we would not have to keep moving the ball holder back and forth. I started out with a thirty yard field goal know that if I could not make that the competition would not even be a competition but an embarrassment. Somehow I was able to make the thirty-yard field goal even when I almost tripped on my approach. Now I was feeling pretty good about myself so Tanner set me up for a thirty-five yarder. Lets just say the end result on this was short. Now it was Tanner's turn. He started from the fifty making it through the uprights with ease. He then took on a fifty-five yarder with the same calm demeanor, and in the same fashion the ball flew right through the uprights. For his last attempt we set him back at a sixty-yard field goal. He did everything the same but the end result was a couple yards short, but none short of wiping the floor with me. In this months competition I had been beaten all three times and come up with no wins leaving my record at a miserable 1-4. At least there is next month where hopefully I can pick up a win when I take to the hardwood when I go up against one of Hastings High's elite volleyball players.