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Francis Howell soccer player turned placekicker breaks record in first season

Jarod Green with holder McGwire Dean, kicks an extra point against Timberland on Oct. 10.  (Mike Keithly/Kem Photography)

Jarod Green with holder Dean McGuire, kicks an extra point against Timberland on Oct. 10.
(Mike Keithly/Kem Photography)

Most of Jarod Green’s athletic life has been spent running around on soccer fields in St. Louis and St. Charles counties.

Until this summer, football was pretty much just a spectator sport for Green, who attended Francis Howell football games on Friday nights, but never set foot on the field. All of that changed in August when Green became the Vikings’ senior placekicker.

His addition to the team has been nothing short of money in the bank for the Vikings through the team’s first eight games.

On Oct. 9, in the Vikings’ season finale against Timberland, Green broke former Howell kicker Austin Johnson’s extra point record of 37 consecutive extra points.

“When I started the season, I knew that it was something that I wanted to achieve. But after we got about three games in I was like halfway there, so with the focus on the team winning games, I kind of didn’t really focus on it as much,” Green said. “Getting it against Timberland, I didn’t really think about it much at the time, but now that it’s been a little time since then it’s definitely something that’s exciting to achieve.”

Green has been a do-it-all player for the Francis Howell soccer team the last three years and generally can be seen playing defense and midfield for the Vikings when he’s not kicking for the football team.

A 3.0 student in the classroom, he tried out for football after joking with the coaches that, as a soccer player, he could do as well as any of the kickers the Vikings had last fall.

“I was going to games last year and when their kicker got hurt last year, I kind of joked to the coaches at a few games that maybe they should have a soccer player kick for them. So one day I kicked some field goals in gym class for the coaches and it went really well,” Green said. “They liked what they saw and invited me to come out in August.”

Green, who kicked a 55-yard field goal in the Howell gym during that spring workout, has hit 40 of 40 straight extra points. That percentage has made him a major weapon in the Vikings’ kicking game.

“He came out to play football for the first time in his life in August and he has been so steady, solid and consistent in the kicking game for us,” Howell coach Bryan Koch said. “He has been automatic on extra points and although he really hasn’t had a chance to kick field goals because we have been so aggressive and good scoring in the red zone, we have total confidence that he can hit field goals for us any time we need him to.”

Green, who is planning to play soccer in college, said the biggest challenge for him this fall has been balancing soccer practice with football and his classroom studies.

“But my coaches and teachers are good about keeping on point in each area and now have it worked out where I can get to football practice after soccer during the special teams part of practice, so I can get my kicking in and it works out pretty well,” Green said.

Now that the playoffs are beginning for Howell, Green would like to achieve even more success in his one and only season as the Vikings’ kicker.

“Hopefully, I can continue to stay perfect on extra points, add to the record and hit at least 75 percent or better on field goals in the playoffs,” Green said. “It’s been a fun season and I can help the team even more in the postseason.”

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