Usually, when you see a high school place kicker with a strong leg, he is spending most of his fall on the soccer pitch.
Clinton-Massie’s Chris Demler is an exception to the rule.
Demler, the Falcons’ senior kicker, hasn’t kicked the round football competitively since his elementary school days. It wasn’t until middle school when he had thoughts of kicking the oblong football.
“I played a little (soccer) when I was younger, maybe third- or fourth-grade,” Demler said. “I just saw some kids kicking (football in eighth grade) and knew we needed one in high school so I gave it a try.”
It wasn’t something that Demler had success with right away.
“The first year, I wasn’t very good at all,” Demler said. “I just kept working on it and working on it. I worked a lot in my freshman year summer and then my freshman year (of football), I started knowing what I was doing. It started coming easy to me”
On the season, Demler is 5 for 5 on field goals from 30-39 yards and 6 of 7 overall. He is 49 of 53 on extra point attempts after making 73 of 75 last year. He has 28 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs.
CM head coach Dan McSurley is sure his place kicker can play at college football’s highest level.
“Chris has the biggest leg I’ve ever coached in 31 years,” McSurley said. “No question he’s a Division I (college) prospect with a tremendous ceiling. He’s had multiple pins inside the 20 (without being a touchback). He kicks it so high, that it just stops. It doesn’t go into the end zone, it just like stays right there.
“Some kids (on the return team) don’t know what to do.”
With the annual playoff run underway, Demler hopes he and his teammates can finish his career on a high note.
“I want to take this season as far as it will go,” Demler said. “Being senior year, I want to finish the season strong and do the best we can do.
Once the Falcon run is complete, Demler will look ahead to his next football game — on a college football field.
“Hopefully I can get some (college) offers and see where it goes,” Demler said.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton