TOWNSEND — Kicking a football is much like kicking a soccer ball -- easy to do but hard to do well at a high level. While Townsend’s Sam Lane might not get a chance to get after it on the pitch for his high school, in the middle of October he etched his name in his school’s record books for attacking goalposts on the football field.
“I just ran out there and knew I had to get my steps down pretty quick. My holder Trey, he just always reminds me, 'Just stay calm. Take your steps,' and just kicked it straight through,” Lane recounted of the record-setting kick.
Lane nailed a 40-yard field goal to set a new school record for the longest field goal made by a kicker in Townsend football history. Though kicking footballs wasn’t Lane’s first love on a field. Lane is a soccer fanatic and played the sport up until he reached high school, where there's no organized soccer at Townsend. Lane then turned to cross country and kicking footballs. Now that football’s on the brain, Lane’s not happy with anything less than perfect.
Though when he first tried his hand at kicking footballs, it certainly wasn’t perfect said junior lineman Carson LeLacheur.
“I'm getting down on the line and getting down to my stance and they snap the ball, so I stepped down and I hear the ball kicked," said LeLacheur. "All of a sudden, (the ball) hits me right in the butt. And it's like, 'Oh!' That wasn't very fun.”
Lane got better, and Townsend head coach Travis Rauh noticed and put Lane to the test on the practice field, hoping when an opportunity to break the record presented itself, he’d be up to the challenge -- or at least be aware of it.
“I believe he knew beforehand. He had to really ignore me a lot if he didn't," Rauh said. "We, even in practice just a couple of times, we'll just say as a challenge, 'All right, here it is, 40 yards, this beats the school record,' and we'll tee it up and just see how they handle the pressure of kicking something that's beyond the school record. So I think he knew that it was 39 yards, I would imagine. But then again, there's a 17-18-year-old kid, there's a good chance he wasn't listening to me.”