Of all the players on a football team it's the kicker that is usually the most forgotten. That is until they kick a game winning field goal, then they are forever remembered.
"Under the right circumstances I can go 60 yards I think," Yankton Senior Kicker Lane Sawatzke said.
Had he ever done that it would be a school record. So far this season, Yankton Senior Lane Sawatzke's longest field goal is 44 yards. But just over a week ago he was inches away from tying the school record from 57 yards. That is why the Bucks have all the confidence in their senior's leg.
"We work on stuff in practice and he sees what I can do in there, so I think he trusts that I can pull through," Sawatzke said.
"I feel comfortable, it's a 55 yard field goal we will probably go for it because he has the leg. The other night he had enough on it to maybe go over 60. From that far out it depends on the wind, but if its not real windy we will probably give it a chance," Yankton Head Coach Arlin Likness said.
South Dakota has had it's share of great kickers. Aberdeen produced former Badgers kicker Taylor Mehlhaff. The most notable is four time Super Bowl Champion Adam Vinatieri, who, coincidentally, was born in Yankton. Also booting for the Bucks is current record holder Layne Somsen. Guys like this is what made Sawatzke start teeing off.
"I've been kicking since I was little. Layne Somsen was a role model of mine. My brother and I would always go in the backyard and kick, my dad made us a field goal post back there," Sawatzke said.
This past summer when he wasn't busy working on his golf game Sawatzke was at kicking camps, like one in Omaha, Nebraska. That's where he earned the title of Most Outstanding Kicker.
"A lot of it is confidence is gained and I picked up a few things. You get out there with some really good kickers and you can see where you stand. It gives you a lot of confidence if you have a good day," Sawatzke said.
"We hope to send a few more kids there. He has a younger brother coming up, so hopefully he will pass it on. Brady Hale is a year behind him, hopefully they keep the tradition alive," Likness said.
Whatever is in the water in Yankton certainly has a lot of kick, giving the Bucks a leg up on the competition. This year Sawatze's 11 points helped Yankton knock off top ranked Pierre by you guessed it, three points. Kickers are hard to come by and there is only one on a team, so can this young Buck kick it at the next level?
"I think he can yes. It depends on how much he wants to golf, but I think he can play if somebody wants a good kicker that can help them out down the road," Likness said.
"I don't know. I would like to go up to SDSU and try it out up there, but I will probably stay around the area and see if I can go somewhere," Sawatzke said.
Sawatzke and the Bucks have their sights on capturing a state title right now. They will host Mitchell Thursday night in round one of the 11 double-a playoffs.