SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A 15-year-old Roosevelt High School student is spending the summer perfecting his craft. Anthony Erickson has a passion for kicking footballs. This week he nailed his first 50-yarder during a practice session. His strong leg is no surprise considering some members of his family tree.
He’s been kicking footballs since he was toddler and this week, Anthony Erickson, a lefty, hit a new milestone.
“I was just as surprised as he was I think. I always figured I’d have the leg strength. Everything came together that kick and it just went right in,” Erickson said.
50 yards is no small feat but being the nephew of NFL legend and South Dakota native Adam Vinatieri brings with it added pressure. Erickson has a signed photo from the Super Bowl Champion hanging near his room.
“‘To my favorite Ginger, this will be you someday.’ Every time I think about it it just like gives me the chills because it really could be me someday,” Erickson said.
“It’s in my blood and it’s something I really enjoy to do. It’s not because my family is making me or I feel pressured to do it, it’s just something that I love to do,” Erickson said.
While he does a lot of kicking work with his dad Tony, it helps to get some tips from the best.
“He has helped though in some of the things that I just need to be critiqued on because my dad is obviously a really good coach to me but he’s not Adam Vinatieri,” Erickson said.
This Friday Erickson is flying to Las Vegas to do some kicking with his other uncle, Beau Vinatieri, a former kicker at Black Hills State. It’s one of many steps Erickson is willing to take to chase his dream.
Holsen: If you don’t want to talk about this, you don’t have to but your mom was saying you were doing pilates this morning. Is that right?
Erickson: I’ve been doing pilates for a few weeks now. I think that contributed to my 50-yarder a lot. Flexibility.
The teenager says if you put your mind to it, you can make anything happen.
“This is where I need to work really hard to get to that next level and even past college,” Erickson said.
Erickson will be a sophomore football player for Roosevelt next year. Roosevelt Head Coach Kim Nelson coached Adam Vinatieri when he was in high school as well. Erickson’s cousin Chase Vinatieri was also a kicker at South Dakota State.