Friday, October 20, 2006

San Jose Mercury: Here's the kicker


By Jay Heater

As weary Cal football players push themselves through end-of-practice conditioning drills at Memorial Stadium, fresh-as-a-daisy place-kicker Tom Schneider barks out encouragement. ``We think it is hilarious,'' Bears linebacker Zack Follett said of Schneider's vocal inspiration as practice comes to a close. ``That's just Schneider, the kind of guy he is. ``There are times when we all wish we could be kickers. He's kicking the ball into the net while we're hitting 300-pounders.'' Even so, Follett said Schneider, a junior from Las Lomas High in Walnut Creek, has earned the respect of his teammates, so his exuberance is welcome.

Such a contribution might not have been appreciated in Schneider's first two seasons. Schneider was a converted soccer player who played just one season of high school football. He struggled to learn a relatively new craft, missing 14 of 32 field-goal attempts.  His problems left some Cal fans, and perhaps a few of his teammates, hoping for someone better to come along. But Coach Jeff Tedford was firm in his belief that Schneider would develop into one of the Pacific-10 Conference's top kickers.

Read the entire article here.


No comments: