Colonels football special teams gets off on the right foot

Jaclyn Palummo

justin franiak

The old saying is that defense wins championships. Others view the offense as the main show. Specials teams can sometimes be easily overlooked. When breaking down the game of football, special teams boils down to being one-third of the game. It is where a game can be won or lost, special teams becomes a pivotal point in almost every football game. Wilkes’ Sophomore kicker Geoffrey Arentz reiterates these points.

“Special teams are not usually considered big plays, but a loth of “hidden” yardage is won and lost in special teams,” Arentz said, “They also are very big momentum changing plays.”

Arentz began kicking and punting his sophomore year in high school when a friend convinced him to try it. Arentz said he messed around with the idea and eventually joined the football team. He said his kicking and punting roots were grounded in soccer although he now only plays on the gridiron in college.

“I was always a soccer player.  Even when I kicked in high school I still was captain of my high school soccer team.  Kicking usually came second until I entered college,” Arentz stated.

College kickers can come under extreme criticism when the game is on the line. Former Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman received many threats after missing a crucial field goal to send the Broncos to the national championship game, but Arentz has already had experience with pressure while kicking in high school.

“My senior year I kicked a field goal to win the state championship semifinal against West Catholic,” Arentz said, “We then went on and won the PIAA class AA state championship in a blizzard.”

Arentz has also shared duties punting this year along with sophomore football player Jordan Fredo. Arentz has punted twice this year and averaged almost 34 yards a punt. Arentz is currentlty 2 for 5 on field goals, but has hit 75 percent of extra point attempts.

Kickers are sometimes given crazy number when entering college. Arentz currently wears number 85 and explained how he wound up with the number.

“I was given 85 when I came to Wilkes University and I have to admit it’s been growing on me,” Arentz said.

Whether its returning a kick for a touchdown, placing a punt within the 10-yard line, or kicking a 50-yard field goal with the game on the line, special teams is a crucial point of any football game. The pressure special teamers take on is monumental, but they quietly accept their duties and look at it as just another day on the job.