Nate Pfennigwerth writes
about his experience at national
kicking camp in Florida
(Webmaster’s note: Franklin junior Nathan Pfennigwerth qualified for a national kicking camp the weekend of Jan. 14-15 in Florida. This was after he was in two competitions closer to home in Pittsburgh and then Thiel College in Greenville after the football season ended. His father, Tom, accompanied him on the trip to Florida and has provided scores, which are posted at the end of Nate's article. Nate, by the way, said he does hope to kick in college but he's keeping the door open for a soccer career at the next level, too.)
By Nathan Pfennigwerth
I ended up not leaving for the trip until Friday because I had a swim meet and didn’t want to leave my team.
The camp was at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
On Day 1, I did pretty well on my charting. It was very windy and cold so it was hard to be consistent with my kicks. I still did pretty well on my field goals. I had a bit of an off day for my kickoff, since it was on a grass field and my plant foot was digging up the dirt. I had one very good kick, and the rest were decent.
For punt, I thought I had a very good day. I was getting all my balls to turn over with good distance.
Later in the day we had competitions for the camp. During the punt contest I was one out of five kids to make the finals. I believe there were about 150 kids there. I ended up coming in second, according to scores.
On the second day it was more classroom work, drills, and competition at the end of the day.
The first competition was field goal. You had to make a 45-yard, 50-yard, and 53-yard field goal consecutively to make finals. I made all of them and made it to finals of the field goal competition. In finals you had to make a 55-yard field goal. Everyone ended up missing except one kid, so I ended up tying for second.
My kick had the distance, but drifted a bit left in the wind, even though I aimed more right knowing that the wind kicked up from prelims to now.
I was one of two kids that had the distance, but didn’t make the field goal.
After that, we had another punt competition. I also placed in finals in that. To make finals you had to have a 40-yard ball with a 4.00 second hang-time. During finals I didn’t do the best, but was still very proud to make finals twice for punt.
I had a great experience. I got (a) critique from a D1 kicker from Michigan, Jake Moody. Jake Moody currently holds the longest field goal in a playoff game, which is 59 yards. I also got to meet a D1 kicker from Auburn, Anders Carlson. He is the brother of Daniel Carlson, the kicker for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.
I’m excited to take the things I learned from the camp to my Pittsburgh training division sessions with Coach Jeff Martin to gain more consistency.
(Nate said he has attended a couple of Martin’s sessions, “but will be going to more soon.” )
And from what Nate's dad, Tom Pfenningwerth, posted on Twitter:
Results show he had a big ball KO score of 107.50, which bested his previous charted high by about six points. "Unfortunately, his cleats were slipping in the Bermuda grass and the rest of the kickoffs didn't go well," dad said.
Finished seventh in punting, averaging 46.2 yards on 10 tries with a 3.69 hangtime for a score of 101.55, beating his previous charted high by almost eight points.
After participating in the Kohl's kicking camp Dec. 3 at Thiel College, Nathan Pfennigwerth received his rankings in early January.
"I was rated a 4.5 star kicker and a 4-star punter," he said at the time. "Looking forward to building on this and getting better at the Future All Stars Camp in Florida."
Pfenningwerth participated at a Kohl's Kicking Camp in Pittsburgh after the season ended. He tied for first place with a 51-yard field goal and won the punt contest outright with a 49-yard effort with a 4.2 seconds hang time.
Pfennigwerth, who doubles as a soccer player at Franklin, has booted six field goals in his career with the Knights.
Here are more detailed stats that he posted on Twitter:
1/1 successful onsides
6/7 XP; 1 blocked
3/6 FG Long 40
24 Punts 38.2 average
2 inside 20
6 taken from own end zone