Football season might be over the Hallsville Bobcats but that’s not keeping Buck Buchanan away from the field. The sophomore kicker/punter was invited to take part in a kicking and punting competition in Austin today and Sunday.
“The camp is called “Kicking World,” and a guy named Brent Grablachoff runs it,” Buchanan said. “He has camps all around the country. There are about 1,200 and 1,300 students that attend all the camps around the country and this year, there were 98 who got invited to this national showcase and I think there are going to be 65 who will be there. He said it’s about the top five to 10 percent of kickers around the country.
“It’s a two-day camp. Saturday is the charting day,” he continued. “So you’ll kick five charting kickoffs, so you’ll kick as far as you can and as high as you can. Then after that, you’ll chart punts where you’ll have five punts. Then after that, you’ll chart field goals. You’ll chart field goals back to 40 yards and you’ll alternate hashes. It’s like a mini-competition and the next day is the big competition day where they’ll have certain limits that you have to meet. So kickoffs might be you have to kick it 60 yards with 3.7 hang time and if you get that, you’ll move onto the next round. It gets harder and harder each time. The same thing is for punts.”
The Hallsville sophomore has high expectations for the camp.
“Win,” he said when asked what he expects from the completion. “Do as well as I can. After the camp is over, they’ll list who won what event and I’m hoping to be top five in all of them, at least field goals and kickoffs.”
Buchanan has been kicking since the summer going into his eighth grade year.
“That’s when I started actually getting serious,” he said. “Before that, I just fooled around in the yard every now and then. I actually started working on form and concentrating on stuff like that going into eighth grade. Kicking has always been my strong suit but I’ve always punted though because I was always the best at it when trying out.
“I played soccer until I was about 9 or 10,” he added. “I was always the best at kicking a football because I always played soccer. I went to a couple camps and won when I was little, probably 10 or 11. That’s when I realized I was a little better than I thought I was. I was like, ‘I could be really good.’”
“He goes to so many (camps),” Hallsville athletic director and head football coach Joe Drennon said. “Buck is always working on his art. He’s constantly out there working on kicking and punting. You’ll see him on weekends up here, on a Sunday afternoon when I’m working on something, Buck will be out there kicking and punting. His mom and dad will be shagging balls for him. I went out there one day and it was a family affair. He had his sister, his mom and his dad, all three of them out there shagging balls for him as he was working on kicking. He’s constantly working on it. He’s going to be a really good one. He already is a good one but he’s going to be a really good one when it’s all said and done.”
He said his longest field goal in practice was 60 yards and longest kickoff in practice went a distance of 72 yards and added his biggest field goal came in week three of this past season.
“The game winner against Bullard, that was our third game of the year, 28 yards, right hash,” he said. That was my first big moment.”
Perhaps he’ll have more big moments at this weekend’s camp.