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Football a kick for high schooler off to Baylor

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Issac Power gave up kicking a soccer ball when he was a freshman at Ponderosa. Instead, he started booting a football.

Power is now one of the best punters, kickoff specialists and placekickers in the state as a senior and will be a punter in the Jan. 6 U.S. Army All American high school game in San Antonio.

“I did soccer for 10 years or so and my Dad said enough, play football,” recalled Power who admits he likes putting best. “I guess I just liked it. I can’t kick a soccer ball now to save my life but I can kick a football better. My foot just naturally likes it more.

“It wasn’t soccer that got me my strength because we used to go hiking all the time. That’s where my strength came from. And I’m very flexible. But soccer is always a good background to have for kicking.”

Power missed his sophomore season because of an ACL knee injury to his kicking leg but worked hard and is rated as the fourth best punter in the class of 2018, according to kicking expert Chris Sailer.

“Issac in my opinion has been the best kickoff specialist in the state for two years and probably the best field goals kicker and punter in the state,” said Ponderosa coach Jaron Cohen. “He can handle all three — kickoffs, field goals and punting. He is 6-foot-2, 180. He’s not a small kid. He has a big leg and big frame. Clearly he’s a pretty special talent.”

In statistics through eight games, Power is averaging 40.2 on 19 punts, with 10 landing inside the 20-yard line. He had made eight of 11 field goals, including a 58-yarder, and is averaging 60 yards on 54 kickoffs with 51 touchdowns.

Power, who admits he has worked more on placekicking than punting, describes himself as a kicker and punter and didn’t have much trouble adjusting to the pressure of onrushing football defenders.

“I just see the ball,” he said. “That’s all I’m looking at and just tune everything out.”

Power was surprised by the attention shown him by big-time colleges. Schools like Alabama, LSU and Colorado were interested but he has committed to kick for Baylor.

He recalls how his dad was concerned about paying for his college education.

“I’d say don’t worry, I’m going to college for free,” said Power. “And lo and behold, it actually happened. There’s no way I thought I’d ever be this good.”

It’s a small world

No, I haven’t been to Disneyland or Disney World recently, but it is sometimes a small world.

I met Gabe Trujillo, who is the director of athletics/activities and human resources for the Westminster Public Schools district.

Turns out that Trujillo was a three-sport athlete at Lincoln High School, where I attended years before Trujillo. He knew a few of the same teachers and coaches that I knew.

Trujillo, who played basketball at Western State and Metro and has been employed as a coach and high school administrator for years, now has a big job. He is the AD for a district with one high school and he wants to get Westminster High School competitive again.

His game plan is improved scheduling, which could be helped at least in football with the new league alignments for the next two-year cycle. And he wants to enhance program development in all sports with off season training and promotion.

Unbalanced schedule

If anyone needs reinforcement about the need to change the current Class 5A football league alignments for the next two-year cycle, a glance at the first-place teams or schools that were tied in the current seven leagues makes the point.

In the first three league games, league-leading teams averaged 40.3 points while holding other teams to 11.6 points a game.

Skating event

Great Skate Day is set for Nov. 11 at South Suburban Ice Arena and Family Sports Ice Arena.

There will be instructors on hand to discuss programs for beginners to experts and there will also be representatives from hockey associations and figure skating clubs, plus synchronized skating and Theater on Ice teams.

Activities at South Suburban, 6580 S. Vine St. in Centennial, will be from noon to 2 p.m. and from 1-3 p.m. at Family Sports, 6901 S. Peoria St. in Centennial

For information contact Gerry Lane at gerryl@ssprd.org.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

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