Hitting 50 has become the thing to do for high school kickers
So many more high school players are able to kick field goals from that distance, as special teams continue to have a major impact on games.
There was a time when field goals beyond 50 yards in high school football were rare. Now, with so many ex-soccer players receiving lessons from private coaches, long field goals are as much a part of the game as 100-yard rushing performances. ...
What ties many of the kickers together is that they receive lessons from a growing number of competent private coaches. Castellanos, based in Fontana, has been giving free lessons for years. Others charge a fee, such as ex-kickers Chris Sailer and Paul Stonehouse. But they are producing results.
Chris Sailer (no readily apparent relation to me) was 18 years behind me at Notre Dame high school of Sherman Oaks, CA. He's the only kicker ever to be the San Fernando Valley football player of the year, after kicking eleven field goals in four playoff games, including a last play, game-winning 58-yarder in the rain.
And there are even private instructors for long snappers, such as San Fernando Valley-based Chris Rubio. ...
The kicker who has beaten USC the last two seasons on game-ending field goals, Erik Folk of Washington, went to Notre Dame, is a protege of Sailer and is the younger brother of New York Jets kicker Nick Folk. USC Coach Lane Kiffin called two timeouts trying to ice Folk. He only smiled, because the private coaches prepare their kickers for just such a situation.
By the way, I think the NFL should narrow the goals post to make kicking a field goal more of an accomplishment, like it used to be before kickers became so competent. Forty years ago, it was a huge national sports story when old George Blanda would come on the field on the last play and kick a 35 yard field goal to win the game. Now, unless it's snowing, it's only a big story if the poor bastard misses. (It's become almost as bad as it is for centers, who only get noticed for bad snaps.)