When it came time to go out and kick a field goal against Iowa Park, junior placekicker Marvin Renteria didn’t give it a second thought as he trotted out onto the field and did his job of putting the ball through the uprights.
The ball glanced off the right upright, but from the moment the ball left Renteria’s foot Coach Gerald Perry knew it was good.
“Marvin is such a weapon for us,” Perry said. “He’s both a placekicker and punter, and he has a college-level leg right now.”
The 50-yard kick broke a 45-year-old record set by Ricky Bray in 1974, and it was evidence Perry knows what he is doing.
It’s also proof Perry knows a little about physiology with how he went about getting his kicker on the field because Perry his playerdidn’t realize he was being asked to make a kick half a football field long.
“I had no idea it was 50-yards,” Renteria said while laughing. “If I had known it was that far, I probably would have missed it.”
A guy who boots kicks from 60-yards in practice feels like he would miss a mere 50-yarder?
“Marvin’s done a great job for us and has done everything we have asked of him to improve his kicking for us,” Perry said. “I think that kick was proof he can do what we ask of him.”
If any further proof is needed of Renteria’s distance, he kicked a ball for a touchback against Sanger – after a safety was scored.
Renteria is also a star on the Mineral Wells soccer team, and that’s where - Perry first went digging for special teams players like Marvin. There was only one problem – Renteria loves soccer and wasn’t all too keen on playing football.
What’s a coach to do when he sees those soccer balls being perfectly placed where a player is kicking and from long-range.
Anybody who knows high school football realizes that teams generally practice their kicking in short segments. Place kicking is about a team executing blocking, a good deep snap, a “hands” guy to get the ball placed, and booting the ball through uprights.
Generally, a team will focus on placekicking 10-12 minutes per practice and sometimes far less. The remainder of the time an athlete who only kicks is practicing on his own and waiting for practice to end.
Perry aligned his practices to work out, not just for Renteria but his entire kicking squad, and when the kickers are done the team moves onto the next phase of preparation.
Hidden among all this is Renteria is a rugby-style punter, which can lend itself to trickery and problems if your soccer-player kicker isn’t 100-percent up to speed on the rules because he’s a first-year player. That led to a problem when Renteria encountered a heavy rush but got free where he could kick and instead elected to run for a loss. Against Iowa Park, Renteria had the same high-snap problem but proved he was in much better command of the situation and didn’t look too bad as he ran the ball back toward the line of scrimmage.
“I’m proud of how hard Marvin has focused on placekicking and taking the instructions on what we expect from him,” Perry said. “He’s not just a great kicker but a punter too.”
Renteria hasn’t yet figured out his plans after graduation but admits he wouldn’t mind trading in soccer for placekicking at the college level because he likes the challenge placekicking brings to the table.