MILES CITY – Kickers are not exactly mainstays on an all-star football roster. In fact, there’s only been two kickers in the past five Badlands Bowls.
But Cody Gagnon is no ordinary kicker.
“It’s an honor to be picked as the only kicker for the game,” said the former Billings West athlete. “It’s just really an honor to show all your hard work has paid off, you had a good season, and just something to hang your hat on at the end of the day. You were the best kicker in Montana.”
But the life of a kicker can become quite boring, especially during an all-star game when the offenses always want to stay on the field. As a result, Gagnon has found himself in a new role this week.
“I don’t get really in on the contact drills, don’t really run routes,” said Gagnon, “but I am helping with the signaling right now.”
That’s right, Gagnon has now picked up an assistant coaching job.
“Just standing next to coach (Mark) Sulser, you just have to memorize it,” laughed Gagnon. “It’s new for me – I’ve never really played any other position except for kicker – so it’s different. It’s nice to learn it, though. Now I’ve got something else in the tool bag.”
And he’s willing to add one more tool – wide receiver.
“We joke around about that every once in a while I should probably get out there and run a couple routes, remind them I’m still an athlete, still part of the team,” Gagnon said.
None of that will be necessary for the former Bear. Gagnon made seven of his eight field goal attempts his senior season, including three longer than 40 yards, and he was a perfect 28-for-28 on point-after attempts.
“With kicking, you have to be 100 percent confident you’re making it all the time,” Gagnon said. “People will be disappointed in you and you just have to accept that, move on from it, have a short-term memory and forget about it.”
Confidence isn’t an issue. Gagnon’s career long in high school was 46 yards. But when asked if he has more in him?
“Oh yeah, I got more in me right now,” he smiled. “I cleared that one by quite a ways, so if they need me to go back to 50, I’ll be feeling good.”
That’s why he’s an all-star.