October 19, 2019

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"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamond in the Rough: Reece Aultman

Kickers, whether you love them or hate them, you need them. Usually, kickers come from their high school soccer team to see if they can hack it on Friday nights or when the football team needs a kicker. West Monroe High School senior kicker Reece Aultman was such an individual. he was a soccer playing high school kid who slowly migrated to the Friday night lights for the West Monroe Rebels. Reece, at 5’11, 170-pounds, did not play football until his junior year; but, he has made an impact for the Rebels during his time there. In the world of kickers, they are not known for having the fastest 40-time, heaviest bench or heaviest squat, they are known for one thing and one thing only and that’s accuracy. Reece had that element even coming so late to football. During his senior season, he did not have many field goal opportunities due to West Monroe’s powerhouse of a team but that did not hinder him in taking every single field goal with efficiently.

During his senior season, he was 8 for 8 on field goals with a career long of 39 yards in the state championship. Now in the realm of high school kickers, that’s some serious trust among the coaches to let him go in and try to come away with some points especially during the state championship game where any sort of points matter. The coaches showing trust in their kicker’s consistency to come away with 3 points in a 5A state championship in the Superdome is something that should be praised.  Since kickers really do not compete with another player during the game, their biggest competitor is themselves; more specifically, their mental game. A kicker’s mental game will dictate what kind of day it’ll be. It can either be high fives and the good ole coaches’ nod for a job well done or it can be the head hung low all the way back to their kicking net. For Reece he kept it simple, staying loose and having faith within himself knowing he is capable of getting those 3 points every time he lines up.

Throughout his entire kicking career, he has had the support of his parents. The kicking game can be tough. Simple mechanics can become confusing and it seems like nothing you do is producing what you want. Reece’s parents were there through the thick and thin to not only to support him but to encourage him to not be complacent but to strive for greatness. That’s probably why he’s never missed a field goal his senior year. Off the field, Reece is always looking to better himself and by networking with others. Reece is able to learn things from talking to other individuals and is able to come up with his own way of doing things that works well for him. He hopes to one day be a part of sports but not in the coaching field but in the business side of things such as an athletic director. During my time talking to Reece, I can see him doing well in that field. He’s driven on and off the field, a guy who will never take being average as acceptable.