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Kickin' it: Billings Central's Camden Capser chasing MHSA field goal record

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 20:04:41-04

BILLINGS -- Safe to say, Camden Capser has plenty of leg.

"I started kicking in eighth grade," the Billings Central senior recently recalled to MTN Sports while driving practice ball after ball through the uprights at Rocky Mountain College. "What got me into it was, I've been playing soccer ever since I could walk, and I've always just wanted to try it."

So, he gave it a shot and it didn't take long to realize his right leg was his ticket.

"Eighth grade was incredible. My very first game I broke Lewis and Clark's record for field goal (distance)," he said.

That, Capser said, was from 35 yards.

Fast forward to his freshman and sophomore seasons when he went to work with Nich Pertuit, the former Billings Senior High soccer and football standout whose own leg served as his ticket to a nice indoor football career. And Pertuit's advice now has Capser in the driver's seat as one of Montana's all-time great high school kickers entering his final year.

"I think I have 128 PATs (points after touchdown)," he estimated. "Seventy-eight of them are consecutive. That puts me 24th in the nation, all-time actually, for most consecutive PATs."

Capser was asked to offer a show-and-tell between kicks.

"The sweet spot for the football is right here (high up on the foot), and my biggest hiccup is probably if I hit too low, like on my toe. I just kind of lose power," he said.

"I start by taking three steps back and two steps over. I take two steps to the ball instead of the typical three," he continued. "I stare right at the tee, or where the ball is going to be placed. I just look at my holder and give him the go."

His cleats, one neon orange, the kicking foot neon green, are noticeably lace-less.

"I kind of feel the contact of the ball a little better, and there's no laces to get in the way or obstruct the ball. They're the exact same shoe, kind of flashy, kind of fun," Capser said.

Central has scored so many touchdowns in Capser's previous three seasons that the Rams haven't really been in position to attempt many field goals, though Capser has his share.

"Farthest being 42 yards, and I've done that three times," he replied when asked.

He'd love to break Montana's high school record of 63 yards set by Bozeman's Travis Dorsch back in the 1990s. Dorsch, who went on to kick for Purdue before enjoying a nice NFL career, recalled to MTN Sports via email his record-setter during a game in Salmon, Idaho.

"For a couple weeks after the kick, the MHSA wasn't sure whether the kick would be a Montana record, because I kicked for Bozeman, or an Idaho record, because it occurred in Salmon. Ultimately, it was decided that it would be both states' record," he said.

Dorsch says he's not sure if Idaho's record still holds, but he wishes Capser the best in chasing Montana's this season.

"I hope he keeps hittin' 'em long and straight!"

Spending an hour with Capser on Rocky's field, he drives a couple dozen through the uprights. His warm-ups start from yards without taking a step. The right leg just a pendulum. Then he goes to work from 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 yards before he finally misses. Moments later he connects from 50.

Now, changing directions, Capster locks in from 55 yards and after a few attempts got it. Then from Rocky's mid-field Battlin' Bears logo with his leg fading from afternoon fatigue, a 60-yard attempt. Off the crossbar and over. Albeit without a defensive rush, thoughts of Dorsch.

After a handful of attempts from 65 yards, Capser finally runs out of gas. And he still has afternoon soccer practice ahead.

But, just days earlier, he'd already shared video on Twitter of a 65-yarder in the company of his buddies at Rocky. From a cell phone beyond midfield, it looked good.