Fauver kicking it

Published 12:02 am Friday, August 12, 2011

Vidalia — What started out as a joke could turn in to a great benefit for the Vidalia High School football team this fall.

Senior Thao Nguyen was trying to convince his friends Joshua and Jacob Fauver to join the Vikings’ football team early in 2010. Jacob made his way on to the team as a tight end and defensive end, but Joshua ran across one small problem.

“(Me joining the team) was kind of a joke,” Joshua said. “Thao got my brother to play, and they wanted to get me involved, but I was like, ‘I’m small, what position am I going to play, kicker?’

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“So I just started kicking.”

Fauver started practicing right away, and became the Vikings’ kicker in the spring of 2010.

Eric Shelton | The Natchez Democrat — Joshua Fauver is the place kicker for Vidalia High School’s football team. He started kicking for the team as a junior last season.

“When I first started out I was not very good,” he said. “Kicking is meticulous, and it’s very detailed to learn how to do.”

Not only is Fauver improving as a place kicker, but he is doing so without much help.

“I taught myself,” he said. “I watched a lot of videos of different kickers, and watched what they did.”

Fauver said he went to a kicking camp at LSU, but it was more for recruiting purposes than educational. He also reached out to a former professional for help.

“I’ve e-mailed back and forth with (former NFL kicker) Chris Boniol,” he said. “He told me to get a lot of repetitions, and that you really can’t coach a kicker because they all have their own style. But he taught me to make sure I see myself kick the ball.”

Fauver said he is still improving almost two years into his kicking career, and he is trying to work on distance and directional kicking for kickoffs.

Fauver said he did not get the opportunity to kickoff last season or kick a field goal during a game. He was only used to kick extra points.

“I want to get an in-game field goal (this year),” he said.

The senior kicker said he has been practicing field goals a lot this offseason, and he can make field goals of approximately 40 yards pretty regularly.

One thing Fauver knows is that he expects to make all of his extra points, he said.

“I feel extra points should be automatic, and I think they are pretty automatic for me now,” he said.

Fauver had a set back last week, when he injured his toe practicing kickoffs. The injury forced him to miss a few days of practice but he expects to be back on the field today, he said.

Fauver did not play football until he joined the team as a kicker before last season, he said, but he wishes he had started kicking earlier.

“I’m pretty excited (about my senior season),” he said. “It’s turned out to be a real good experience, and I enjoy kicking. I kind of wish I got involved earlier. It’s kind of like eating cotton candy, once you start enjoying it, it’s over.”