Thursday, November 12, 2009.
Aiken, SC - These days, the words "great kick" are said an awful lot at Silver Bluff High School. That's thanks to kicker Kyle Mackey. But it hasn't always been that way.
"I could barely hit an extra point in the eighth grade," said Mackey. "Actually, took me a couple games to hit an extra point."
Now, Mackey may be the best kicker in the state in Class AA. With a range of nearly 50-plus yards and a punting average around 38 yards, he's become quite the weapon for the Bulldogs
"You're talking probably 2 to 3 first downs a game probably with him kicking," said head coach Al Lown. "And we've kicked more field goals in the last few years than in the first 15 or so years I was here. There's been years where we didn't even try a field goal."
"I've come so many days when nobody else was up here, on Sundays, and even during the offseason," said Mackey. "Just come when no one else is up here, kicking through the field goal posts. It's taken a lot to get where I am right now."
Through the years, Mackey's also gotten stronger. And though he's a pretty big guy, don't expect to see him playing any other position anytime soon.
"Yeah, they won't let me play any other position but kicker," explained Mackey.
"He may have thought about it but he ain't going to. He's too valuable as a kicker to us," responded Lown.
But that's just fine for the senior, who knows the team trust him with every kick and every punt.
"It's a good feeling knowing that when the game's in my hand, they count on me to make the play game and win the game for them sometimes," said Mackey.
"When you've got a guy who can kick as well as he does and punt, that really is a big plus for us," said Lown. "He's definitely the best kicker ever at this school."
Mackey hopes to continue kicking in college. He has currently been getting offers from small colleges such as Newberry, Furman, and Charleston Southern.