Field Goals and the High School Football Game

The poor kicker. He’s there on the sideline for 99% of the entire football game. He’s expected to come in now and then, completely cold, and focus his energy and attention on the singular act of precisely kicking the ball through those dreaded uprights from varying degrees of distance. How can that be fun. On top of that, he kind of has outsider status in the locker room since his role is so different from anyone else in the team. The life of a high school field goal kicker is ripe with both stress and elation. Which one can flip a full 180 depending on his last kick. Let’s look a little deeper at the prep football kicker and field goal, not to mention how we brought them squarely into our high school fantasy football league play.

Almost no player on a football team is so uniquely singled out as the field goal kicker. Football real is the quinticential team sport. You can’t run with out a strong line. You can’t score without a great defense giving you back the ball. It’s all interwoven. Except for the kicker. He stands alone and that makes it a position that relies as much on mental toughness as physical skill and ability. When you walk out on that field as a kicker, you walk alone. Yea, special teams is out there for the protection and you do have your setter but those pieces are pretty much assumed to work. You’re the one who has to perform. Spotlight’s on.

Most high school football kickers either run dual duties with another position such as tightend or they come from a strong soccer lineage. It’s such a specific skill set that the coach will usually check around the players at smaller schools to see who can pull it off on top of their usual position. Bigger high school programs usually have soccer players for which the kick, with a little practice, is pretty straight forward after years of developing foot control. This can affect the style of kick…either from the side or straight on. There’s no right or wrong way unless of course, the ball misses the mark. That’s the wrong way.!

The field goal is really a powerful tool and it’s not exaggerating to say that many actual high school football games or won or lost by it’s success. It’s hard enough for any high school offenses to put together a successful touch down drive but getting down the field to a safe field goal range is going to happen much more often. A touch down is 6 points. At 3 points, the field goal is pretty potent since it’s half the point total of the touch down and much easier to obtain. Although the field goal feels a bit of a let down from the full touchdown, it can quietly win the game for you after enough successful attempts. To account for this powerful point gaining ability, we kicked up the points for a field goal in our high school fantasy leagues to 3 points. This can quickly add up so you don’t want to skimp on the kicker. It’s actually not bad strategy to pick a team that has an average or poor offense since they might be in the position to kick more often than score a touchdown. When choosing your fantasy league players, don’t kick them to the curb. Okay. That was stinky.

Dennis Jarvis writes about the world of Prep Sports including high school sports such as high school football, basketball, and baseball.

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