By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
Spencer Herrington has just one goal heading into a brand-new college football season: “just be perfect.”
The WPI senior kicker was pretty close to perfect last fall, connecting on 10 of 12 field goals and 44 of 44 extra points for a career-best 74 points, which resulted in numerous postseason accolades, including NEWMAC Special Teams Athlete of the Year and D3Football.com’s All-East First Team Kicker.
But heading into the Engineers’ upcoming campaign, Herrington, who hails from Clearfield, Pennsylvania, seems confident that last season’s success could translate into even more this year – he certainly would like to cap his four-years with the WPI football program by being perfect in both extra points and field goals.
“I would like to see my stats (at the end of the season read) 15 for 15 or 16 for 16 on field goals and 40 for 40 on extra points,” said Herrington.
Herrington has the right attitude to accomplish his preseason goal, but plans to take it “game-by-game” this fall – he doesn’t seem interested in thinking about his kicks in October or November.
Prior to his team’s preseason practice on Monday, Noontime Sports caught-up with the senior place kicker and punter to chat about his personal goals heading into the upcoming season, as well as some important advice he received as a camper years ago from Robbie Gould, who is currently kicking field goals for the San Francisco 49ers.
What’s the biggest goal for you heading into a brand-new season?
“I think there is a lot of expectations (for me). Obviously last year, I didn’t have a lot of expectations because I had never started before, but I think my biggest goal is to put (any preseason expectations) aside and take it game-by-game.”
What helped you enjoy a successful season last year?
“I think it was confidence. I know for me, as long as I go out there with the mentality that I am going to make the field goal or extra point or I am going to punt well – it usually happens, but like for me it is all about keeping my form. I do watch some of my film to make sure some of my mechanics are the same every time, but honestly it is just like confidence. This summer I worked on (improving) my power by lifting.”
You connected on 10 of 12 field goals last fall. Do you ever think about those two kicks that missed?
“Yeah, both (attempts that missed) hit off the upright, so it’s kind of frustrating that I missed them by inches, but I still need to make those. Obviously, you want to get every kick back, but you can’t think about them too long (because) you have to move onto the next (kick) and make it.”
What was the biggest kick you made last year?
“I would say the field goal I made against MIT last year, which helped us win by three points.”
The MIT-WPI football games seem to come down to field goals or have been decided by three points. And one of those games happened to be the 2016 overtime win over MIT.
“Yeah, when Blaine Bursey made that (19-yard-field goal in overtime) to beat MIT, I was there for it. I thought it was cool, but it is kind of funny (how the games have been decided by three points the past few years). Last year it didn’t come down to me. There wasn’t that much pressure (on me) because I kicked a field goal (before they came back). I don’t think I really had too many pressure kicks (last fall).”
Do you enjoy being a part the MIT-WPI rivalry?
“I think MIT and RPI – well, I guess there is something a little bit more with RPI because of the (transit trophy), but all three schools’ mascots are the Engineers, so there is a little bit of a rivalry there (with MIT, as well). But I think everybody goes into every game with the same mentality, but maybe just a little bit more juice with those games.”
Do you think special teams gets overlooked when offenses or defenses makes big plays?
“(Special teams) is a part of the game that needs to be there because games are won through special teams. Whether it is a mistake on special teams or whether it is winning a game with special teams, games can be won or lost through special teams, but I think (the kicking game) can be overlooked by fans. It is certainly not overlooked by coaches or players because they understand how much special teams means to winning games and being competitive in games.”
Do you have an all-time favorite kicker? If so, who?
“Robbie Gould, who is currently with the San Francisco 49ers. He’s been in the league a longtime and he is so consistent. When he played for the Chicago Bears, I went to his camp and met him, and he is just so consistent and may not have the biggest leg – I don’t have the biggest leg either. He is someone that I try to base my game off of and that is what the coaches are looking for, which is me making field goals.”
When you went to Robbie Gould’s camp, what advice did he give you as a young kicker?
“I asked him how he has stayed in the league so long and he said the biggest thing for him is that he doesn’t kick that often during practices. He said that he kicks roughly 10 to 20 balls each day and then does an ice bath followed by lots of resting and recovery. He (also) said that as long as he is doing (this routine) then he will be fine.”
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