Guess who hit the longest field goal in America during the 2013 season? No, it's not NFL kickers like Adam Vinatieri or Robbie Gould or even college kickers like Tulane's Cairo Santos or Rice's Chris Boswell. It's the new record holder in the state of Kentucky, a high school sophomore who no one even knew he could kick a football a mere four months ago.
Meet Tyler Pack. As reported by the Ashland Independent, the Johnson Central High (Paintsville, Ky.) sophomore set a new state record for longest field goal when he connected on a 60-yard free kick attempt in a 54-0 victory against Greenup County (Greenup, Ky.). The kick came on a rare free kick attempt that was available after Johnson Central fair caught a punt at the 50-yard-line in the second half of the blowout.
Rather than run any offensive plays, Johnson Central coach Jim Matney decided to give his placekicker a chance at a state record. The existing mark was 58 yards, and Matney knew that if Pack connected from the midfield stripe, his 60-yard attempt would move into the record books.
The unique state record followed a Pack field goal earlier in the 2013 season that tied the state mark at 58 yards. Both of those made field goals would have seemed absurd before the season started, simply because no one thought of making Pack a varsity kicker. Perhaps that's because he sure doesn't look like a placekicker; the sophomore stands 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds and is built like a tight end.
But all that muscle has given him powerful legs, and a kick that is the best in Kentucky state history. However, it isn't the longest kick in national high school history as that record belongs to Dirk Borgognone, who nailed a 68-yarder in 1985.
It's certainly longer than any that have been made in NFL history, and that's saying something.
"There’s been 27 [free] kicks in the NFL, 22 regular season and five preseason," Matney told the Ashland Independent. "Only five have ever been made. The longest was 52 yards by Paul Hornung. So to some who say, 'Well that’s easy, there’s no rush, no this, no that,' it’s been successful only five in 27 attempts in the pros."
Now it's been successful from a young Kentucky kicker who may only be scratching the surface of his potential.
"It really is amazing to watch him kick," said Johnson Central coach Jim Matney. "He's got a very explosive leg. The ball sounds like it explodes when he hits it sometimes. Maybe the best part is, he's just a very fine young man. You like to see people like that do great things."