SCHOLAR ATHLETE: Falkenheiner gives Trinity kicking game, also leadership

Published 12:04 am Thursday, September 10, 2015

Trinity Episcopal Day School junior Grant Falkenheiner boasts a 3.8 GPA while also kicking for the football team. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Trinity Episcopal Day School junior Grant Falkenheiner boasts a 3.8 GPA while also kicking for the football team. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Grant Falkenheiner’s job on a football field is often overlooked.

But the Trinity Episcopal Day School junior is making an impact for the Saints this year kicking.

“These past couple of games I’ve gotten a little more comfortable, so the pressure isn’t as much, but it is definitely there knowing I have to execute for my team,” Falkenheiner said.

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Pressure isn’t new to Falkenheiner, though. Maintaining a 3.8 GPA along with playing sports has placed plenty on the shoulders of the junior.

“My parents brought me up in a background where grades were definitely the most important thing,” Falkenheiner said. “Especially over sports.”

So when Falkenheiner decided to join the football team, head coach Zach Rogel was a bit taken aback.

“Grant has really surprised me this year,” Rogel said. “He played, but you didn’t think he really wanted to be out there last year, and he’ll probably say the same. But this year, he made all his summer workouts and has really taken pride in it.”

Falkenheiner said it was Rogel that pushed him athletically.

“When I decided to play, coach told me to give it my all,” Falkenheiner said. “So when I did, I decided to put everything I had into it. I wasn’t just going to coast through it. I was really going to go for it.”

Falkenheiner’s introduction to the game has gone smoothly so far.

“He’s come on and embraced the role of kicker for us and done a dang good job,” Rogel said. “Last year, we didn’t have a dependable kicking game. We went for two the majority of the time and converted on less than half of that. If we score a touchdown this year, I hold up the one, and I feel confident he is going to put that point on the board.”

But what makes Falkenheiner even more valuable to the team is his ability to lead.

“He’s got a great set of leadership skills that very few on our team actually have,” Rogel said. “He wasn’t graced with the best football skill set, but the leadership is where he is extremely valuable.”

Falkenheiner said having teammate Joseph Harris go down due to injury really opened his eyes to stepping into a leadership role.

“Coach told me we were going to need some leaders to step up, and hopefully, with my leadership skills, I can help this team go further,” Falkenheiner said.

As far as off the field, Falkenheiner also has lofty goals for the future.

“Civil engineering is what I was thinking to prior to accounting,” he said. “I don’t know if accounting maybe changed my viewpoint or not, but we’ll see.”

With the rest of this year and another year ahead of him at Trinity, Falkenheiner said there is still some he is hoping to accomplish in high school.

“Some scholarships would be nice for sure,” he said. “Whether it is for kicking or school related, it would help start my future.”

And in football, Falkenheiner has his eyes on the ultimate prize.

“It would mean a lot to me to make a run to state, but more specifically the school,” he said. “With our numbers being down, it would for sure help pick those up, too.”