August 1, 2008

Griffin's boot catches attention

Jack Griffin is soccer player by nature, but stumbled into the kicking game after starting out on the JV squad as a free safety/ receiver. Now he is in position to put his small class A school in Naples, Fla. on the map, and earn himself a five-star rating in the process.

"We are a small school of about 200-300 students, our main goal is just to have a winning season and make it into the playoffs every year," Jack said. This goal has been regularly met, as the Celtics of St. John Neumann have garnered four consecutive winning seasons. Jack's key contributions to their success earned him honorable mention all-area honors last season.

"I grew up playing soccer, but switch to football in high school. One day after practice, me and the starting kicker were playing around and the coach noticed that I was beating the starter and asked me to kick," Jack explained of how he got his start in kicking. "I finished the last four games as the starter."

This summer Griffin has refined his kicking abilities, having attended several camps including the inaugural Southwest Florida Kicking Challenge, presented by former Michigan kicker Brandon Kornblue's Kicking School. At this event, Griffin made 13 straight field goals before missing a couple of bonus tries from 63 yards. Griffin also excelled at the kickoffs, getting six from the 40-yard line, putting two into the end zone and three more out of it.

An additional skill that Jack has been working on is the transition from kicking off of a block, to kicking off the ground, as required in college. "I've been making the transition this summer, kicking from the ground at all of my camps, but will still kick off a small wedge this fall due to poor field conditions at fields we play on."

So far his strong leg has not gone unnoticed, as the Wolverines of Michigan, and the Cardinals of Louisville have express interest in Jack, and currently holds a full scholarship offer from near-by FIU.

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