Varsity kicker shares motivation; NFL kickers holding records

Matthew Ledford , Reporter

 Varsity kicker Lukas Smithson says NFL kicker Justin Tucker inspires him the most, “Justin Tucker always defies the odds and sets records.”

     Justin Tucker, the kicker for the Baltimore Ravens kicked a 66-yard field goal in a game against the Lions on September 26th. This field goal broke the NFL’s longest field goal on record in NFL history. Tucker’s kick is not only the longest in NFL history, but it was also made as time expired to give the Ravens the win. 

     Alex Tobias described this kick as “a work of art” and “unbelievable” Tobias and many other football fans do not know how Tucker made this field goal. 

     Kickers are the most important players in the sport of football according to backup  quarterback Preston Miller, they score the most points. “Kickers are the highest scoring players  because they get the most scoring chances,” says Miller. 

     Smithson states, “kickers play a very important role in the success of football teams and often feel the most pressure. Knowing that the team will swarm me if I make a game-winning kick, but also knowing that they will be mad if I miss. 

     Like most sports, football has a professional level league called The National Football League (NFL). The NFL consists of 32 teams, they are divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).

     There are two types of kicking that kickers can use. The two types of kicks are straight and soccer-style. 

     Varsity Football Head Coach Justin Martinek states, Smithson uses the soccer-style form of kicking.

     A straight kick simply means that after you make contact with the ball, your leg follows through in a straight line perpendicular to the ground.

     In December of 1986, Mark Moseley, the NFL’s last full-time straight kicker, made his final field goal as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

     Soccer style kicking is the form of kicking where the kicker approaches the ball from several steps to the left of it for a right-footed kicker, or vice versa and several steps behind, hitting the ball with the inside of the foot; all current NFL kickers use this style.   

     Pete Gogolak, who began his pro career with the Buffalo Bills before moving to the New York Giants, was the NFL’s first soccer-style kicker. 

     There are only two kickers in the NFL Hall of Fame, Morten Andersen and Jan Stenerud. There are two other players in the Hall of Fame as kickers, but they also played other positions. 

      The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame embodies excellent figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the NFL.