Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

September 20, 2013

KYLE HOBSTETTER: Area making pitch for kicks

ASHLAND — Last Friday night during the Russell-Ashland game, the Red Devils had a drive stall near the Tomcats’ 40-yard line.

Without hesitation, the Russell coaching staff called for the field goal unit and kicker Patrick Soucy.

The 50-yard field goal fell short — a bad snap, a hurried Soucy and Ashland getting a fingertip on the ball caused the miss.

But Soucy got something he’s been looking for since starting to kick for Russell three years ago: Trust from his team.

“I think they have confidence in me,” Soucy said. “They didn’t come up and say, ‘Can you hit this?’ They just said, ‘field goal team.’ We didn’t even try a field goal last year.”

Before the 50-yard try, Soucy hit two field goals from 40 and 30 yards out.

Russell and Soucy are a perfect example of the resurgence in the kicking game in the area this season.

Several teams are looking toward soccer players to handle their kicking duties.

Robert Wesley has been handling extra points in Ashland and Evan Huddle hit a 37-yard field goal for East Carter last weekend.

Johnson Central soccer/football player Tyler Pack hit a 58-yard field goal to tie a state record last week.

When asked why soccer players would want to try football, Soucy said why not.

“I think it’s pretty appealing if you ask me,” Soucy said. “I always thought it would be fun. The whole aspect of having a chance to help out another team, I think, is pretty cool.”

Soccer players aren’t the only ones getting in on the action. Zac Bruner in Boyd County has been a bright spot for the Lions this year.

In fact, the idea of kicking has swept the area, including camps (such as Prokicker) that focus on kicking, punting and longsnapping. The idea of more kickers learning to do things the right way excites Soucy.

“I personally hate toe-ball kickers,” said the senior. “This summer I went to Aaron Pettrey’s camp at KCU. He completely changed my form ... and ever since then I keep getting better and better.”  

Look for the football to fly from feet a little bit straighter than what most area fans are used to on Friday nights.

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