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Talented high school kickers are game changers. They come few and far between, but chances are if you have one your team is going to be very successful.
On the opposite end of the spectrum they can sure be a breath of fresh air for the coach of a losing squad, who may have little else to cheer about.
This past year we saw some of the greatest to ever use their foot on the field for their programs.
Here is a look at the kicker nominee’s for the 2012 Postseason All-TriStateFootball.com Team, presented by Apex Awards:
FINALISTS: Corey Bennett (Walton-Verona), Evan Berg (Kings) , Justin Berkley (Western Brown), Andrew Coe (Scott), Pat DiSalvio (McNicholas), Stephen Dunaway (Conner), Callum Jones (Clinton-Massie), Robbie Lewis (Winton Woods), Grant Mahoney (Campbell County), Justin Martin (Lakota West), Jake Newman (Lawrenceburg), Matthew Reiniger (Moeller), Ryan Nuss (Fairfield), Dillon Sarka (Waynesville), and Andre Spillers (Sidney).
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AMAZINGLY ACCURATE: Walton-Verona’s Corey Bennett connected on all 56 of his extra point attempts and that was good enough for the sixth best streak in Kentucky state history.
Jake Newman, a Class 2A First-Team All-Indiana selection, set school records for extra-point percentage(97 percent/67-of-69) and longest field goal (48 yards) with eight of his games coming on a grass surface at Lawrenceburg’s Neary Field.
Pat DiSalvio nailed 10-of-12 field goal attempts, four of the last eight were from 35 yards or longer that was good enough to earn him Division III, Third-Team All-Ohio accolades. The “Rocket Launcher” hit 21 career field goals while putting up 176 total points in three seasons.
Moeller’s Matthew Reiniger went 3-of-8 on field goals during the regular season, but flipped the tables in the postseason as he knocked down all six of his attempts as the Crusaders went on to win the Division I state championship.
EIGHT IS GREAT: Pat DiSalvio, Justin Martin, Jake Newman, Ryan Nuss, Stephen Dunaway and Matthew Reiniger all drilled at least eight field goals in 2012. Andre Spillers had six field goals and Dillon Sarka tallied five for their respected squads.
STATE RECORD: Clinton-Massie sophomore Callum Jones benefitted immensely from the Falcons’ high-scoring offense tallying a state record 104 extra points. His 107 total points was second most by a kicker in Ohio history.
BERG-ONOMICS: Kings booter Evan Berg finished with 248 career points, third all-time in the OHSAA rankings. He also finished sixth all-time in career field goals with 33, just six field goals behind the all-time leader in state history. The Knights only had three opportunities to kick field goals during his senior campaign as Berg went 3-of-3 with a long of 42 yards.
DOUBLE DUTY: Andrew Coe, Robbie Lewis, DiSalvio, Berg and Nuss also excelled as their team’s punter. Coe was a master of flipping the field for Scott averaging 37.3 per punt on 24 punts, 19 of those pinned the Eagles opponents inside their own 20-yard line while 21 of his 44 kickoffs went for touchbacks.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Mason Bolser (Mount Healthy), Luke Brockett (Highlands), Sam Cogen (Sycamore), Eric Cospy (Trotwood-Madison), Josh Depp (Springboro), Zac Gehner (Colerain), Hans Hinebaugh (Mariemont), Michael Ruffalo (Alter)
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.