October 20, 2010
In a game between Brookwood (Ga.) High and Central Gwinnett (Ga.) High earlier this year, Erick Yang booted his first three kickoffs through the end zone. In fact, the right-footer hit one so hard that it sailed through the uprights for what would have been a 75-yard field goal, if the kick counted. Fittingly, Central Gwinnett's return men were surprised later when one of Yang's kickoffs only made it to the 15-yard line. It turns out there was a good reason for the shorter kick: Yang booted the ball with his left foot, not his right.
That's right, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brookwood's kicker is ambipedal ... or two-footed, if you prefer. Yang, who never played football before the opening kickoff of Brookwood's 2010 season at the Georgia Dome, has connected on field goals beyond 30 yards with his left foot in practice, according to Brookwood coach Mark Crews, not to mention his kickoff which travelled 55 yards.
[Video: The year's most unique field goal]
"I kick a football the same way I kick a soccer ball," Yang told the Journal-Constitution. "I've been playing soccer my whole life, so it was an easy thing for me. ...
"Kicking left and right foot is about the same, but my left foot is a lot weaker than my right foot."
That said, Yang told the Journal-Constitution's Michael Carvell in a separate interview that he's hit from well beyond 30 yards with his left foot when he wasn't in a game.
"Maybe 45 yards," Yang told Carvell. "I don't know, I'm not good enough with that foot yet."
Luckily, Yang has his even stronger right foot to rely on, and the kicker has truly turned heads with that. He reportedly has connected from 60 yards in practice when kicking right-footed, and there's little question that Brookwood's coach would turn to his kicker for a deep shot if he needed one.
"Eric has been kicking the football seriously for about seven to eight weeks," Crews told Carvell earlier this season. "In my 35 years of coaching, I've never seen someone kick it as far as he does."
While it may still be Yang's first season booting balls through the end zone, he's had so much fun that he's completely open to a future in college football.
"I never knew football would be so much fun," Yang told the Journal-Constitution. "Yes, I'd love to play college football. I just find football more exciting than soccer. There are more people at the games, and I love the adrenaline rush."
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