Kathleen — Most high schools do not have a reliable kicker outside of point after attempts. That is not the case at Veterans High School where head coach Milan Turner has a secret weapon in sophomore Daniel Gibbs.
"[Gibbs] is the epitome of what we have seen with this football team in terms of guys buying in, working extremely hard in the weight room, and doing things to make themselves better," Turner said.
Turner said Gibbs had an extremely productive summer, bulking up in the gym and participating in specialty camps to get ready for this season.
"He was at everything we asked him to be and he really made his mind up that he was going to get better and he was going to help us, and he did that and we’re just really proud that he’s been able to see the fruit of his labor," Turner said.
Gibbs is 3-5 in field goal attempts this year, including a school record 49-yard field goal over rival Perry High School to help the Warhawks earn a 31-24 win. He said he appreciates the faith his team has in him.
"I knew I had to put it through, coach had confidence in me, teammates had confidence in me. I knew what I needed to do and just went out there and did my job," Gibbs said. "I didn’t know it was a school record until I got back on the sideline and they told me, but it was my longest of the year, so I was pretty excited to hit something from that deep."
Turner said having a weapon like Gibbs makes it decisions easier when they've reached the opponent's side of the field, but are in tough position between punting or going for it on fourth down. The Warhawks believe they can put points on the board when they get past the 50 yard line.
Like most kickers, Gibbs has that definite routine before he tries to put it through the uprights.
"I take three steps back, two to the left. As soon as I see rubber, I go, my eyes on the tee the whole time. I just try to get a good swing and the rest just kind of happens," Gibbs said.
The longest he has hit in practice has been 57 yards kicking into the wind.
The Veterans Warhawks are an undefeated 6-0 this year, including wins over county rivals Houston County High School and Perry High School. Their next game is against Bainbridge High School on October 5 in Bainbridge.