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Life of a Kicker

Sometimes not seen due to celebrating in the stands, the extra point is very crucial in the game of football.

Jacob Sneden, junior, has been the Varsity kicker for South ever since his sophomore year. To some this might seem like an easy task, but it is everything but that.

“I don’t think people realize how hard it is,” said Sneden, who wears the number 55 this season, “if you don’t get a good hold or good leg motion then you’re done [referring to missing an extra point].

It seems that field goals and extra points are the easiest thing to do to score on in a football game, but it can all go wrong in a matter of seconds.

“It was really windy and rainy out,” said Sneden, “we had a better chance of going for two from the 45 yard line than an extra point.”

The weather can be a huge factor for kickers, and that is why some teams decide to defer or to kick when they win the toss at the beginning of the game. If it is really windy out towards one side, then a team will choose to kick with the wind at their backs so that it will slow down the other teams passing game and improve theirs.

“Kicking into the wind is probably the hardest [thing to do as a kicker],” said Sneden, who this year has not had any trouble with that effect.

Although the life of a kicker seems simple, games can be decided on one single kick. Last year against Park Hill, South grabbed the lead with a touchdown but missed the extra point. With the score at 13-7, Park Hill had a great chance of coming back to win. Luckily for us they did not, but Sneden was the most grateful.

“I would’ve been dead,” said Sneden, “it would’ve all been my fault.”

Even though you can easily blame the kicker, maybe now you can understand how hard it really is to do this feat that only some can do; that is why teams only have one kicker you know.