Usually, when a football team loses its place kicker to injury, it brings up his (or her) junior varsity understudy to fill that role. When there isn't a designated (or reliable) junior varsity kicker, a football program usually goes into overdrive scouring all possible sources for a new kid with a strong boot.
According to the Dallas Morning News, that was precisely the predicament Arlington (Texas) Bowie High's football team found itself in when starting kicker Jose Jara was sent to the hospital with appendicitis on Sept. 25. Nearly halfway into the season, Bowie had nowhere to turn.
First, coaches tried the Bowie soccer practices. No luck. Then, when asking anyone and everyone to try and find who might be able to kick a ball through football uprights, they were given a most unlikely tip: Try one of the members of the marching band's drumline, which is pictured above.
The coaches were desperate enough to try it, and they've been richly rewarded. It turns out that drummer Nephtaly Puga had briefly been a junior varsity kicker in the past. After a couple of practices, Puga trotted out onto the field and immediately delivered.
Since giving up the drumline and halftime marching routines for a football uniform, Puga is a perfect 4 for 4 on extra points, helping bridge the gap until Jara is healthy enough to return.
"The kid has been great," Perry told the Morning News. "That says a lot about our band director."
Because of his perfect performance, Bowie coaches are in no hurry for Jara to get back, though the job will almost surely be returned to him when he is healthy enough to return. Whether that means Puga will be allowed to return to the drumline remains to be seen.
If nothing else, the Bowie coaching staff knows where to find him if Jara unexpectedly goes down injured again.
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