This upcoming football season, head football coach Dustin Delaney and the Lancer football players will be welcoming two soccer players onto their team. Seniors Josh Zillner and Mitch Tamblyn will be the new kickers for the team, while simultaneously continuing their roles on the soccer team.
Tamblyn will be kicking the extra points after touchdowns, as well as field goals. Zillner will be doing the kickoffs for the team.
After three years of watching football games in the stands, Tamblyn decided he wanted to get in the game.
“It sounded pretty appealing because I like being on the sidelines more than I like being in the stands,” Tamblyn said.
Zillner wanted to play because he thought his kicking abilities would help the team.
“Since I played soccer, I thought I would be good at kicking footballs, and that I could help the team,” said Zillner. “I thought it would be fun to do both sports my senior year,” Zillner said.
Over the summer, Zillner and Tamblyn started practicing their kicks to prepare for the football season. After trying both field goals and kickoffs, they were able to figure out who wanted to do which.
“We had a competition and established that we were both better at either one,” said Tamblyn.
The two both conditioned over the summer to get in shape for the fall. Zillner practiced and conditioned exclusively with the soccer team, while Tamblyn conditioned with both the football and soccer teams.
Soccer players have kicked for the football team in years past.
“Back when I was in high school or the year after I graduated, they had a kicker who was on the soccer team and on the football team,” Coach Kelly said.
Coach Kelly believes that Zillner and Tamblyn are well prepared for the season.
“I have no problems with it at all, I mean all the NFL kickers are former soccer players so it’s just a natural thing,” Kelly said. “We [soccer players] know how to kick a ball.”
Check out several videos of Zillner and Tamblyn practicing their kicks: