Kicking his way to success

Randi Vinson-Davis / THE FLARE || Yovany Arvizu kicks a successful field goal in the Rangers’ rivalry game against the Tyler Junior College Apaches. Arvizu scored 42 points for the Rangers this season.

Jeremy Garza
Staff Writer 

In the game of football there are two positions a player can hold that allow contact of cleat and leather, kickers and punters. That’s the job of KC’s sophomore kicker Yovany Arvizu.

The right-footed Arvizu played for Waxahachie High School’s soccer team as a sweeper and was successful enough to be offered the opportunity to play collegiality at St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma.

Though excited about the offer, he wasn’t completely sold on taking soccer further than Waxahachie. Something was missing.

During Arvizu’s junior year, the football coaches at his high school were in search of a new kicker.

“The kicker at the time was only kicking to the 10-yard line,” Arvizu said.

When the coaches approached him, he initially wanted to deny their request of trying out but decided otherwise.

“They asked me to give it one week of practice and play one game,” Arvizu said. “So I did and kicked all right and decided to stick with it.”

After his senior season in high school,  Arvizu had an offer to play at Hardin-Simmons in Abilene, but wasn’t offered a quality scholarship.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do, so from then I started calling schools, but no one seemed interested,” Arvizu said.

That’s when last year’s deep snapper for the Rangers and former fellow Waxahachie High School football player Chip Lorfing mentioned giving KC a try.

“I sent coach Eckert my video,” Arvizu said. “He called back and told me to get down here.”

In a Youtube clip, you can see his booming leg kicking as far as 55-yards out.

Kickers aren’t always glorified in football like a quarterback, but Arvizu was responsible for 42 of the Rangers’ points in the 2012 season. Only three other KC players put up more numbers than Arvizu.

Sometimes people don’t even consider the kickers legitimate football players.

“I tell them I wish you could do what I do at least one time,“ Arvizu said. “It’s just like every other snap and they see it’s not as easy as it looks.”

He has all faith in his ability.

“I’m extremely confident,” he said.

His “time to shine” moment came when the Rangers trailed Blinn for three quarters and with four seconds left in the game, Arvizu was presented with an opportunity to make the game-winning extra point.

“It was just an extra point, but it was a little nerve-wracking because if you miss we go into overtime,” Arvizu said. “Our coach is always telling us not to think about it think about sexy blonde girls.”

The Rangers went on to make the 28-27 comeback win against the Buccaneers.

The sophomore comes from a tight-knit family and is the youngest of five siblings. After games, one can usually find Arvizu conversing with his parents, who rarely miss a game.

“I keep kicking because I want to make my family proud,” Arvizu said. “My dad is the biggest influence. He has pushed me and encourages me to keep kicking.”

Arvizu has taken advantage of his kicking career to further his education.

“Who doesn’t like free school?” Arvizu said. “Why not take advantage?”

He plans on being the first in his family to graduate from college. Arvizu aspires to graduate from a university with a business management degree after his departure from KC.

He doesn’t know where his kicking abilities will take him when he leaves Kilgore, but plans on using them into his future.

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