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Cameron Smith

Oregon school used four different kickers in championship win

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Usually, a coach has to beg and plead to find a placekicker. Sometimes it involves begging a soccer player, sometimes it involves forcing another random player to learn how to kick. That's hardly been the case for Sherwood (Ore.) High, which used a quartet of placekickers en route to a Class 5A state championship.

That's right, Sherwood had not one, not two, but four different placekickers to parcel out kicking duties to during games in the 2010 season. In the case of the Bowmen, both Chad Pollock and Nate Montgomery served as placekickers on extra points, with Pollock and Montgomery trading off on the kicks after alternating pairs of touchdowns. Meanwhile, Taylor Bonawitz specialized in field goals, duties that were particularly important in the state title game, which was won on a field goal in overtime ... hit by Bonawitz, as you can see below.

"I knew it was coming down to a field goal, so I was just waiting for my chance to get out there and kick it," Bonawitz told the Oregonian. "I just kept my head down, because I know when I don't keep my head down and I shank it right or left. It felt great, and when I looked up it was going straight through the uprights.

"I started kicking in March and every practice kick was for the state championship ... and now it's here. I'm just happy that I was able to get the opportunity and then kick it."

Of course, if that bounty of three kickers wasn't enough, Sherwood coach Greg Lawrence also had Jason Castanada, his kickoff specialist, to rely on. Castanada, a senior kicker who is a soccer convert himself, had the sixth-longest kickoff average in the state in 2010. His kickoff long was 60 yards, with six of those 60-yarders counting as touchbacks.

Sherwood needed plenty of more talent to win a state title, a supply of which was abundant enough to pave the way for the school's 13-0 record. Still, a quartet of kickers doesn't come along too often, a bounty which helped the Bowmen win an impressive Class 5A title. Given the way all four executed, this quote which Sherwood's Lawrence gave to the Oregonian about Bonawitz after the championship win could have easily applied to any of the quartet.

"That's how much confidence we have in him, no matter what," Lawrence said. "He went out there and he knew he was going to make it, and he went out there and did the job."

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