Keeping Up with the Kickers:These guys might have a say-so in which way the Game Will Go by Round Three or Four of the Playoffs

Keeping Up with the Kickers:Got to see how the teams are doing going to the 2023 Playoffs…Some have the same guy punting, kicking off, and kicking extra points and field goals…Here is what we see from the teams we have headed into the postseason, and we see who will be putting the football in play for them, as the 2023 Season heads into its postseason session…

Grimsley Whirlies
Luke Barnes handles the kickoffs with six touchbacks last Friday night vs. Northern Guilford…
Jackson Henry takes care of the PAT Kicks and the Field Goals for Grimsley HS…Henry goes 7 for 7 on his PAT kicks last Friday night vs. NG…
Alex Taylor has done the Grimsley punting, so that gives Grimsley three different weapons/looks for their kicking game….Grimsley with three kickers…

Dudley Panthers
Andre Cummings was a perfect 5 for 5 on his PAT Kicks for the Dudley Panthers last Friday night vs. Eastern Guilford HS…
Cummings handles most all of the kicking duties for the Dudley Panthers…Right now Cummings coming on strong, doing all of the Dudley kicking, and he is only a sophomore…

Eastern Guilford Wildcats
Jackson Jones, who is also the EG Wildcats 6’5 QB is a kicking machine…Jones hit on 44-yard field goal for EG vs. Dudley last Friday night…He also had several booming punts and Dudley coach Steven Davis said the Jones’ punts had college football-type height…His punts were super-high and hard to field as the Panther return-men had to go back to get them…His longest punt was 47 yards, and he did shank one punt which killed his overall average for the night…A little bit unique in the EG Wildcat’ kicking approach…Jackson Jones does the punting, kicks the field goals, and he handles the kickoffs…Last Friday night Conner Smith kicked PATs for EG….Smith will also kickoff on occasion if he has the hot foot/leg, but almost always Jones on the punting….EG with two kickers….
Conner Smith, the cousin of Collin Smith, who kicked for Eastern Guilford and then went on to do/handle the Kickoff duties for the N.C. State Wolfpack, over in Raleigh….

Northwest Guilford Vikings
Northwest Guilford looks to their senior QB Tanner Ballou as their punter, and the Vikings go with Nate Wallace as their kickoff and Extra Point man….Ballou perfect for the QB quick kick formation and he can also line up to punt, and then take off and run for a first down, if the defense and distance look good for him….Haven’t seen where Wallace has tried any field goals this year, but he has attempted all of the NWG PAT kicks…Two kickers for NWG…

Page Pirates
Junior kicker for Page HS in Santiago Garcia…Santiago, no relation to Sergio, as far as we can tell, and he is a busy Pirate…Garcia does the Page kickoffs, the punting, and he is responsible for the PAT Kicks and any field goals that Page would try…Garcia was 4-4 on his PAT Kicks last Friday night, vs. the Southeast Guilford Falcons….Page with just one kicker…

Northeast Guilford Rams
Northeast Guilford with punter Christian Stockton and Kickoff/PAT Kick man Xavier Mendoza…Both Stockton and Mendoza are seniors, and Stockton has been steady, whereas Mendoza saw teammate Jair Doblado rolling some of the kicking duties his way earlier, but with Mendoza and Doblado both seniors, it looks like Mendoza is the man since back near mid-season…NEG with two kickers….

High Point Andrews
Football/Soccer player Samuel Dezantil is in charge of the Kickoffs and the PAT Kicks for the High Point Andrews Red Raiders…Jeremiah King does the punting for HP Andrews…From the box score report, HPA did not attempt an Extra-Point Kick last week vs. McMichael, but Andrews scored 7 TDs and with the 6 times 7 numbers, that is how they got to 42 points in the victory…Unconventional wisdom would tell us that Samuel Dezantil was out of town on a Soccer trip last week…But we don’t know for sure….Two kickers, when they need them, for High Point Andrews…

High Point Christian Academy Cougars
David Green and David Roberts handle the kicking duties for the HPCA Cougars….Green takes care of the kickoffs and the PAT Kicks, while Roberts focuses on the Punts….Green is a sophomore, Roberts is a senior, so Green is growing in High Point and he will be around to help the Cougars, a few more years….Two Kickers for the HPCA Cougars….Some call them kickers and punters, we just call them all Kickers…And which of these guys listed here today, will be game-changers come Friday night???

And with the Davids at HPCA, it makes me think of the young kicker David in the movie, “Facing the Giants”…He made the 50-plus yard field goal to win the game for his team, as his coach, Coach Taylor, sent David into the game to kick the game-winning FG with just seconds remaining in the ballgame…It was as real long kick and little David told Coach Taylor that he couldn’t do it, but Coach Taylor said, “David you’ve got this”…And as soon a real big wind come up, Coach Taylor yelled, “Kick It Now David, Kick It Now”…And little David gave it his all and the wind got behind the ball, and the ball sailed through the uprights for a 50-plus yard Field Goal, and David’s team won the Georgia State Championship, as time expired…You never can tell what might happen when you go up against those Giants….

These GUYS we have been talking about might have a/the say-so, and there used to be a girl kicker/female kicker and her name was Snow…Snow Brenner…

She became the only girl on her high school football team, at High Point Central High School… She’s always been athletic (she was also the soccer standout at High Point Central HS ), so when she heard the school’s football team needed a kicker, she didn’t hesitate to try out.

“We lost a game because of our first kicker,” Coach Steve Edwards(assistant coach to head coach Gary Whitman) recalled. “We put the word out everywhere – to all the sports teams, in PE classes. We knew of Snow because her older brother, Anthony, had been our kicker. And, we were desperate.”

He knew the team’s luck was changing when he saw her try out: “She’s a little, bitty thing, and she crushed it. I mean, 20 (goals) in a row. We said: You’re hired.”

It wasn’t just a fluke. She really was that good. She remained the team’s varsity kicker throughout high school. “I kicked a field goal in the state semifinals against Shelby High that led our team to the state finals,” she said.

Her coach said, “She was money every single time.”

She became the first female in North Carolina to play in a state championship football game. Brenner set a national record for points scored by a female and became the first female to win a National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame Scholarship.

by ANGELA CLARE News and Record Staff Writer Dec 9, 1999

There have been so many Brenner kickers at High Point Central that people are becoming confused.

Unfortunately for Wich Brenner, who will kick for the Bison in Saturday’s Class 2-A football championship game against Southwest Onslow, that means being mistaken for his older sister, Snow.“I felt really stupid,’ said Wich Brenner, a senior. “She graduated in 1996, and here it is 1999 and people still don’t know me. It’s fun being one of the Brenner kickers until people start mistaking you for your sister.’

But with six Brenner children, including four who have played or are playing for High Point Central’s football team and one who might soon play, the confusion is understandable.

Anthony started the family tradition when he began kicking for the Bison in 1987. After graduating in 1989, he went on to kick for East Carolina, helping the Pirates defeat N.C. State in the 1991 Peach Bowl.

He continued on to Arena Football, kicking for the Charlotte Rage and Arizona Rattlers. He won an Arena Bowl in 1997 with Arizona.

“I had no idea this would happen,’ Anthony said. “I thought I was the only one in the bunch. But then I started seeing the development of my sister, and I knew she could be an even better kicker than I was.’

Snow Brenner had no plans to play football until the first day of school her freshman year, when she heard the football team needed a kicker. She tried out as more of a joke than anything, but made the team.

Despite the objections of her mother, also named Snow, the Brenners’ only daughter won a vote at home that night and turned kicking for Central into a family tradition. She spent one game on the junior varsity, then moved up to the varsity.

Snow Brenner went on to set the national record for points scored by a female high school football player. She also was the first female to win a National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame Scholarship and was named to the all-conference team.

“We made all kinds of news when we got Snow,’ said Gary Whitman, Central’s coach. “She’s a gritty girl; she has more guts than most guys.’

Snow graduated in 1996 and continued on to Duke, where she plays soccer, handing the tee to younger brother Wich.

Wich Brenner has been a three-year starter for High Point Central, converting 74 of 76 extra-point attempts for the Bison this season. Wich also set the school record for the longest field goal with a 44-yarder, surpassing the 42-yarders kicked by his older brother and sister.

The line of kicking Brenners won’t end with Wich.

Dane is a sophomore, patiently waiting to take over the job. He has seen limited varsity action, filling in a few times when Wich was injured.

Finally, there is Seth, an eighth-grader. Wich and Dane said Seth has not yet made up his mind whether he wants to kick or not, so the rest of the family decided for him.

“I don’t know if he wants to do it, but we’re kind of forcing him to,’ Wich said. “He’s got to carry on the tradition. I always used to think this was crazy, but I guess I’ve gotten used to it. It’s a given that one of the Brenners will kick.’

The other Brenner child is Chris, 24, who focused on soccer instead of football in high school.

But Chris just began working out last week in hopes of beginning a kicking career at North Carolina Central.

“He’s been working since high school, but he heard they need a kicker at North Carolina Central, so he started trying to get in shape,’ said his mother. “Sunday was the first time he’d been out, and he came back with his knee killing him and his back killing him. It might be a short-lived dream.’

Knowing the success the Brenners have had as kickers, though, that’s not likely.

Don Osborne, a 66-year-old Thomasville resident, has been working with the Brenners since Anthony’s high school career began in the 1980s. Osborne is a self-taught kicking instructor, learning through videos and books that recently retired Thomasville coach Allen Brown obtained for him.

“All of them are such good athletes, and very mentally tough,’ Osborne said. “They all have a unique ability. I’m not saying one is any better than the other, because they’re all very, very good.’

And with only one Brenner waiting in the wings, Whitman is a little nervous.

“They’ve given us a nice run of kickers. I’ve been real fortunate. You don’t care about ’em until you don’t have any, and then you’d like to have some,’ Whitman said. “But mom and dad are kind of letting us down a little bit. They have to get busy.’

The elder Snow Brenner, whose offspring have contributed so much to High Point Central football, said she is passing that responsibility to Anthony, who at 29 just married and moved to Winter Park, Fla.

When Anthony Brenner heard that, he laughed.

“There’s no way, unless my wife and I adopt a 14- or 15-year-old kid,’ he said. “But that would be nice, to continue the tradition. And if that happens, Sports Illustrated better be knocking on our door.’

One thought on “Keeping Up with the Kickers:These guys might have a say-so in which way the Game Will Go by Round Three or Four of the Playoffs

  1. You hit the nail on the head on this one. I think this is the most complete team Grimsley has had in many years. Special teams are so important in close games.

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