The timing couldn’t have been any better. Fenwick has a powerful offense, and coach Dave Woods was expecting senior captain Nick Bona to handle the kicking duties. Bona isn’t a natural kicker, though, and he’s heavily counted on as the team’s quarterback and the top tackler on defense.
So Russell got an opportunity late in the preseason and it’s been magic ever since.
”We had him at receiver and defensive back and Nick was doing the kicking almost until the first game of the year,” Woods said. “One preseason game somebody said Kyle played soccer and he could kick. We put him out there and he kicked great. Right away, under pressure, he kicked a field goal (against H-W) and it didn’t even faze him. It was a great surprise.”
Having a trusted kicker is a huge relief for high school football coaches.
”What it’s done for me as an offensive coordinator is that I don’t think twice after a touchdown; I automatically think seven points. He’s so consistent I think in bunches of seven instead of six,” Woods said.
In addition to extra points, the kickers can also be an added scoring weapon.
The field goal record for Pingree is 42 yards, set by Carlos O’Donnell in 2007, and Highlanders’ coach Chris Powers suggested earlier this season that Fyrer could threaten that mark. In practice, Fyrer has connected from 47 yards.
”It’s a lot of confidence. Offensively if we get it down inside the 20, I’m pretty comfortable kicking a field goal,” Powers said. “It’s an extra weapon. It’s almost a different philosophy to make sure you come away with points.”
Russell feels his range is between 40-45 yards and says he’d love to get the opportunity to kick one from that distance in a game. He knows it’s unlikely, however, due to Fenwick’s powerful offense.