Greyhound kicker Babcock provides consistency, clutch

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I’ve always found it ironic how a football game, in a sport ruled by the fastest and the strongest, can come down to one of the smallest players on the team.

The role of kicker on your average football team is usually not desirable. The moment a kicker puts his hallowed foot on the field, the pressure is enormous. Make the kick, and you did what was expected. Miss it, and you are the most hated player on the field.

Still, it’s a position that some thrive in. Just ask Adam Vinatieri, the Colts’ kicker who has kicked two Super Bowl-winning field goals during his career. But please don’t ask Mike Vanderjagt, one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. Nobody cared when he missed a game-winning attempt wide right for the Colts in the 2005 playoffs.

He’s currently playing in Canada.

For the Greyhounds’ kicker Jordan Babcock, a game-winning field goal attempt is another day on the job.

In arguably the greatest game of Carmel’s season thus far, the 5’7” junior put the dagger through Warren Central with an ice-cold 36-yard kick to take the lead with 4:20 left in the game.

“I didn’t expect the kick to be the last scoring of the game, but I knew that it was a vital kick. I just went out and went through my mental checklist in my head and just performed to my best abilities,” Babcock said.

Babcock has been near perfect for the Greyhounds this season. As the leading scorer for the Greyhounds with 53 points on the season, Babcock has not missed a field goal attempt all season, going six for six without a miss.

Pretty impressive stats for someone who didn’t play football until eighth grade. “I was talked into coming out for football in eighth grade by my teacher and I played soccer before. So it was just natural to become a kicker,” Babcock said.

The Greyhounds have relied on Babcock all year long. Carmel has scored more points in the MIC than any team other than Warren Central. As a result, Babcock is called on to make a kick many times each game. He has averaged 5.6 points a game, roughly three extra points and a field goal.

Nonetheless, Babcock has maintained consistency all season long. And heading into the playoffs, the Greyhounds will need his consistency.

“I am preparing for tournament play the same way I do all the others,” Babcock said. The Greyhounds will need a kicker that is able to put the pressure of a high-stakes situation out of mind. Carmel has put Babcock’s leg to the test this year, and it hasn’t failed yet.

The Greyhounds will look to their kicker to carry the weight of an entire team in the playoffs, and to play with ice in his veins. That killer instinct has never been doubted.

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