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Kicker: a leg above the competition

Josh McCormick ranks second in kicking among sophomores across the nation

HERE%E2%80%99S+THE+KICKER%3A+Sophomore+Josh+McCormick+kicks+a+field+goal+as+senior+Aiden+Ellisor+holds+the+ball+in+place.+McCormick%2C+Ellisor%2C+and+the+Bowie+Bulldogs+won+the+game+against++the+Akins+Eagles+49-29+with+McCormick+drilling+seven+extra+points+to+stay+perfect+this+season.+
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Kicker: a leg above the competition

HERE’S THE KICKER: Sophomore Josh McCormick kicks a field goal as senior Aiden Ellisor holds the ball in place. McCormick, Ellisor, and the Bowie Bulldogs won the game against  the Akins Eagles 49-29 with McCormick drilling seven extra points to stay perfect this season.

HERE’S THE KICKER: Sophomore Josh McCormick kicks a field goal as senior Aiden Ellisor holds the ball in place. McCormick, Ellisor, and the Bowie Bulldogs won the game against the Akins Eagles 49-29 with McCormick drilling seven extra points to stay perfect this season.

Photo by: Sam Blas

HERE’S THE KICKER: Sophomore Josh McCormick kicks a field goal as senior Aiden Ellisor holds the ball in place. McCormick, Ellisor, and the Bowie Bulldogs won the game against the Akins Eagles 49-29 with McCormick drilling seven extra points to stay perfect this season.

Photo by: Sam Blas

Photo by: Sam Blas

HERE’S THE KICKER: Sophomore Josh McCormick kicks a field goal as senior Aiden Ellisor holds the ball in place. McCormick, Ellisor, and the Bowie Bulldogs won the game against the Akins Eagles 49-29 with McCormick drilling seven extra points to stay perfect this season.

Sam Blas, Sports Editor

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The ref hands him the ball. The band is playing their music, the crowd is chanting their chants, and the coaches are yelling their orders. He gets in his steps. He looks over to his coach.

Breathe.

Then he repeats to himself, “Walk. Jog. Run. Walk. Jog. Run. Kick.”

This is the kicking process of Josh McCormick, the number two sophomore kicker in the nation, according to Kohl’s Kicking, a camp for kickers across the nation. Through talent, support, and most of all, sheer determination he has risen to the top ranks in high school football.

“The first camp I went to I was rated three and a half stars. After that I thought to myself that I should totally work hard to get to that next level,” McCormick said. “Seeing those kids that I am competing against in real life showed me that I believe that I am better or have the potential to be better than them. So I worked hard to surpass them.”

Even though McCormick is one of the best kickers in the nation, he tries to stay humble. But since he is ranked second, he senses a lot of pressure on him.

“I try not to think about it as being the best, although there is a lot of pressure to perform well. But I put in so much work and time into kicking that I know that I can go out there and make kicks no matter what is going on in the crowd or what the opposing team is saying. I’ve put so much work, enough to be completely confident in my ability to kick,” McCormick said.

According to McCromick, the kicker is one of the most under appreciated positions in football. But he isn’t phased about what people think about the position.

“Most people don’t respect the position, and that’s whatever. Think what you want. But just know a lot more goes into kicking than you may think,” McCormick said. “If I’m known as ‘just a kicker’ but I get into college because of it, I’m totally fine with that status.”

McCormick didn’t get here on his own. He attributes plenty of his success to his coaches, mother, and his brother.

“Obviously I wasn’t able to do this on my own. My brother and coaches pushing me to be one of the best,” McCormick said. “My mother being able to take me to these camps and being financially blessed to be able to do any of it. Like, you can’t just fly all over the country to go to each of these camps.  All of this didn’t come from only me. I have to thank everyone else involved.”

The most influential figure to McCormick is his older brother, John McCormick. Josh has basically modeled everything after him.

“Everything he did, I wanted to do. Whether it be running in track, running hurdles, or doing triple jumps. Playing soccer. Reffing. Even wearing the same clothes as him,” Josh said.  “So when he started kicking in eighth grade, I thought that I kind of wanted to start kicking, and I was three years younger than him. I kind of had a head start, starting in fifth grade.”

John thinks very highly of his brother. He believes Josh could become a professional football player.

“I think he will play Division 1 football and if he really puts his mind to it, he has the potential to go pro,” John said. “He’s extremely determined at everything he puts his mind to, so once he made it his goal to be a good kicker I knew he wouldn’t fail.”

Another big mentor for Josh is his coach he sees outside of school. Coach Nick Gatto has been working with Josh for years and he credits a lot of his success to him.

“I respect Nick. He only has one arm. He shows me that I can get over any difficulty I have to deal with. He kicked in college with one arm. He kicked in the AFL with one arm,” Josh said. “He reminds me that I need to keep working. He’s a very good man, too. He focuses on his family. He sometimes contacts me telling me not to contact him because he’s with his daughters at Disneyland or it’s his wife’s birthday.”

Gatto is very excited about Josh’s potential. He believes that Josh will go as far as he is willing to take himself.

“ Josh is only a sophomore. He’s going to get bigger, he’s going to get stronger, and he’s going to get better. You can’t put a limit or a projection on his potential. His technique, form, and his overall performance is going to improve,” Gatto said. “Josh truly has no boundaries on his potential. He is going to get better by leaps and bounds.”

Someone that plays a big role in Josh’s success is his teammate Aiden Ellisor, the placeholder for the varsity team. The placeholder’s job is to hold the football as the kicker proceeds to kick.

“The funny thing is, Aiden’s mom was my fourth grade teacher. So I’ve known him for so long and we have a good relationship,” Josh said. “But we did have some problems at the beginning of the season, because everything hadn’t clicked yet. But despite all that, I think he’s a great guy and he is pushing me to be the best I can and vice versa.”

Ellisor thinks very highly of Josh. He believes that Josh, through hard work, can play at a high level throughout high school and college.

“Josh is performing very, very well. He’s really good at what he does, and he really limits his mistakes to a bare minimum,” Ellisor said. “He’s got so much potential and all he needs to do is practice more so he gets to the next level. I believe wholeheartedly that he’ll play Division 1 college ball. He’s a very good teammate.”

Josh’s main goal is to be able to kick in college. He wants to be able to get into a good school because of his abilities.

“I definitely want to kick in college. I think I have the potential to do so. But in terms of kicking beyond college, I don’t know yet. My main goal is to kick and get into college because of it,” Josh said. “But, as of right now, I’m only a sophomore. I need to focus on my technique to ensure that future.”

Josh may have college planned out, but he is unsure past that. The pros are still on the table for him, however he may want to defer from attempting to join the NFL.

“If I kick well enough that I could get into the NFL, then sure, I’ll take it. But still, I have to be realistic. It’s so hard to get into the NFL,” Josh said. “I’d rather kick in college and get a degree so I can have a solid job. Then I’ll think of the NFL.”

Josh might have most of his goals figured out. Right now it’s improving his kicking game so it can take his team to higher levels.

“I just want to be able to tell myself that I was good. I hold myself to a very high standard. Like in a game, if I don’t kick all touchbacks or I don’t kick the way I want to, I’m that person who thinks about what I could do to get better,” Josh said.

Josh is always looking for ways to improve. He looks forward to the rest of his high school career.

“Right now, I want to focus on making my team better than it is already. I want to push my teammate to be the best they can, especially those who are in my class, 2021 class,” Josh said “I am really excited about what we will be able to do in the future.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Kicker: a leg above the competition”

  1. Bernie O'Neill on November 27th, 2018 10:03 pm

    Sam! Nice article!

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Kicker: a leg above the competition