Kick after kick after kick sailed through the uprights at Doug Hitchen Stadium before last Friday night’s football game.
Arroyo Grande’s Garrett Owens was just going through his normal pregame routine before taking the field for one of his last few home games.
Owens, a 5-foot-9 senior, has committed to play his college football for the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2012. He is rated as one of the ideal place kickers in the nation for the class of 2012.
Chris Sailer, a former two-time all-America kicker at UCLA who runs the Chris Sailer kicking camp, one of the premiere kicking clinics in the nation, proclaimed on the his website that Owens is the ideal kicker in his region.
“Garrett is the top kicker on the West Coast,” Sailer said. “(He is) an incredibly gifted athlete that will have great success in college. He has a huge leg and hits a great ball off the ground — he has it all.”
Owens started kicking for his youth football team when he was in the eighth grade and quickly became one of the hottest commodities in the nation at the kicker position.
Four years later, Owens is about to embark on a journey that will take the Arroyo Grande native to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“When I went and visited, I loved it out there,” Owens said. “I fell in love with the area, the coaches — I’m real excited to play there.”
Obviously, when you accept an appointment to a military service academy, it’s not all about football. That couldn’t be more true for Owens when he travels to Air Force.
He has a grade-point average of 4.14, and when asked what kind of service he wants to get into at Air Force, the senior stated engineering piques his interest.
“Maybe something along the lines of the engineering field,” he said. “Maybe go fly planes or do whatever it has to offer for me.”
As for what he brings to the AGHS team, head coach Tom Goossen likes the fact that Owens does not just kick; he also plays wide receiver and defensive back for the 3-1 Eagles.
“I think what is more astonishing is not only is he bombing kicks, but that he was running, getting yards — he receives,” Goossen said. “He’s doing this all with a tired leg, which makes him more exceptional.
“He’s a football player that happens to kick, not a kicker who plays football.”
So far in 2011, Owens has 12 rushes for 108 yards while catching 18 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, he has 21 tackles and one interception. Kickingwise, he has 22 extra points and two field goals on the season.
Making his powerful leg even more of a weapon is his capability to destroy a team’s field position. So far this season, 22 of his 23 kickoffs have been touchbacks.
Against Templeton two games ago, he kicked a school record 57-yard field goal. He also handles the punting duties.
Owens, who was an ESPN RISE All-American second-team selection among juniors last year, is not the only athlete in his family.
His mother, Laurie, is the head coach of Arroyo Grande’s girls soccer team, and his sister, Karlee, who graduated from AGHS in 2009, holds records in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.
With Owens proving he’s more than just a powerful leg, don’t be surprised to see this Eagle flying high, sooner than later, in the college ranks.
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