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  • Inside the relationship between Andre Szmyt and Sterling Hofrichter, two of the nation’s top specialists

    first_imgLeg upInfogramThe move helps Szmyt keep his form as well, something he noted tends to break down as the season carries on. When Szmyt returned to his kicking coach following the 2018 season, his chest was bent forward during his kicks. It was a product of starting too far away and “attacking” the ball.Now closer, his two steps are short and controlled rather long and lunging.“Trying to stay everything compact and just controlled,” Szmyt said, “and just good form, proper form.”Hofrichter adjusted more to the mental side of the game this offseason. This summer at a Kohl’s Professional Football Camp, known for elite specialist training, Team USA sports psychologist Marty Martinez discussed visualization and the benefits of picturing positive performance before it happens.Before each game this season, Hofrichter plugs his Powerbeats headphones into his ears and lies on the locker room floor. The playlist includes Imagine Dragons and Boys Like Girls song “The Great Escape.” From the ground, he pictures perfect punts. He does the same when he’s on the sideline, dropping the ball on his foot nearly 500 times throughout offensive series in a game. The imagined punts come to fruition to like the lofty strikes against Clemson that led to the best single-game punt average in SU history with at least five punts.“He’s an NFL kicker if you saw him,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said. “Some of the hang time that he got on some of those kids? Like O-M-G.”As Hofricther’s grown as a punter, he’s also become increasingly interested in golfing. He started golfing often his freshman year when he learned Drumlins Country Club was free for students. On Tuesday, Hofrichter walked a full 18 holes before practice instead of using a golf cart. By the evening, he’d had walked more than six miles, per his Apple Watch. They play Golden Tee, the arcade golf game in the football facility before practices and competed in punt golf during practices over the summer.Starting on one side of the field, the kickers punt the ball repeatedly until hitting a target, such as the crossbar. Like golf, whoever reaches the target in the least amount of strokes wins. Hofrichter doesn’t always win, either.“We’re in Ensley, so it has the roof,” Szmyt said. “So if Sterling boots one and hits [the roof], I’ll just line it.”Outside of football, the pair play Fortnite in their off-campus apartment and go out to eat at the Bull and Bear Roadhouse, which they believe is better than Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Former long snapper Matt Keller turned Hofrichter onto the spot where both Szmyt and his punter rave about the cornbread.Before last year’s Western Michigan game, Szmyt began what’s become a superstition for the kicking unit. The then-redshirt freshman played Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Now, before the kickers leave their team hotel for the last time a reminder of their goals booms through the old Italian voice:I wanna wake up, in a city that doesn’t sleepAnd find I’m king of the hillTop of the heap Comments Published on September 18, 2019 at 11:27 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 The best kicker in college football changed his form of kicking before the season and his roommate, a three-year starting punter, has taken a new approach to mental preparation.Not a season removed from winning the Lou Groza Award, which is given annually to college football’s best kicker, Andre Szmyt decided to move a foot closer to the ball before he kicked a field goal. Punter Sterling Hofrichter now lies on the ground of Syracuse’s locker room before a game and visualizes his punts while listening to Imagine Dragons.Together the pair have an obsession for golf games and Syracuse barbecue not named after an extinct species. They’re two quirky kickers but they produce at a rate rarely seen from a punter-kicker duo in college football. In 2018, Szmyt won the Groza after nailing 30-of-34 field goals and with three field goals this season, leads in the nation over the last two years. Hofrichter just picked up ACC Punter of the Week following an average of 52.2 yards per punt against Clemson. He currently ranks fifth in the country in punt average (48.1 yards).Szmyt, a redshirt sophomore, is more outgoing than his introverted roommate, redshirt senior Hofrichter. But the two have grown close and together have influenced a special teams unit that ranked first in the nation at points last season.“We want to be known as the best special teams in the country,” Hofrichter said. “So we really focus on pushing each other to be better than we were like a week ago, a year ago.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter finishing his redshirt freshman year as a unanimous All-American, Szmyt cut the diagonal distance from the point of contact to the start of his kicking motion by one foot — 106 inches to 94.To those outside the kicking world, the change may seem slight. But the extra inches closer to the ball allow Szmyt to start his run to the ball later, allowing holder Nolan Cooney more time to catch, spin the laces out or adjust to a bad snap.center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

  • Clippers collapse in fourth quarter, lose Game 6 to Rockets 119-107

    first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers’ J.J. Redick said it all at the Thursday morning shootaround ahead of Game 6 against the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.“This has gotta be a close-out mentality for us,” he said. “We don’t want to go to Game 7 down in Houston.”It’s going back to Houston.After leading by 19 points with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, a combination of Houston roaring back in impressive fashion and the Clippers falling apart at the seams resulted in a 119-107 victory for the Rockets at Staples Center. The Clippers got off to a very quick start and led 8-2. When Howard took his second foul midway through the quarter, it seemed like a good thing. But Rockets coach Kevin McHale did not immediately remove Howard, and Howard never got another foul in the half.Meanwhile, the Clippers led by nine points three times in the first, the last time at 29-20 with 56.4 seconds left in the quarter. But the Rockets scored the last five points and trailed 29-25 heading into the second.Trevor Ariza was then left all alone and buried a 3-pointer at the outset of the second, and suddenly Staples Center was quiet.The Clippers were able to hold off Houston for a while and held 39-32 lead after a 6-footer by Jamal Crawford with just over eight minutes left in the half.Harden, who missed his first five shots, then got very hot and made his team’s next 11 points while the Clippers could manage just a basket by Crawford. Included in Harden’s barrage were two 3-point baskets.Houston led 43-41 at that point, but Griffin tied the score with two free throws. Josh Smith went right back at Los Angeles and sank a 3-pointer for a 46-43 Rockets lead.Houston went on to lead by as many as six points before the Clippers finished strongly to lead 64-62 at the break. A big basket down that stretch was a 3-pointer by Redick, who had missed all four of his shot attempts to that point. He responded with a fist pump. Redick made a left-handed layup shortly thereafter that proved to be the final points of the half.Redick continued his suddenly hot shooting when he opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer. Matt Barnes followed with a layup and the Clippers led 69-62 with the crowd going wild.During his pregame news conference, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was asked to talk about both teams being in desperation mode. The Rockets did not want their season to end, the Clippers absolutely wanted to avoid a Game 7 in Houston.“Both teams have to play that way,” he said. “That is how both teams should play every night and I preach it every night in the playoffs. I don’t know why you wouldn’t be desperate in a playoff game.“Desperate is one thing. But you still have to execute. Desperation will make you play hard and dumb sometimes.”center_img Game 7 is Sunday at Houston’s Toyota Center.After leading 87-68 following a 10-0 run, the Clippers were outscored 51-20.It was a nightmarish fold job by the Clippers, who were outscored 18-0 from 6:23 left in the game to 1:01 for a 112-102 Houston lead. Chris Paul broke the spell with two free throws, but by then it was too late.Paul led the Clippers with 31 points and doled out 11 assists. Blake Griffin scored 28 points, but 22 of those came in the second half as he could not buy a basket down the stretch. Redick added 15 points.James Harden led the Rockets with 23 points, but he was on the bench during much of the fourth quarter apparently because he is still battling a bug. He shot just 5 of 20. Dwight Howard had 20 points and 21 rebounds and Josh Smith and Corey Brewer each scored 19.last_img read more

  • RESULTS AND PICTURE SPECIAL FROM THE LAC EASTER SUNDAY 3K

    first_imgPIX BRENDAN DELAP AND MICK BOURKEKIERAN Doherty ensure home honours in the Letterkenny AC Easter Sunday 3k.He finished four second ahead of Foyle Valley AC’s Scott Rankin. Easter Sunday 3k 2014  Place Race No. Time FirstName Surname Category Club1 445 8.40 Kieran Doherty – Letterkenny A C2 411 8.44 Scott Rankin SM Foyle Valley 3 405 8.48 Declan Reid SM City Of Derry4 403 9.05 Noel Logan SM City Of Derry5 404 9.14 Conor Doherty SM City Of Derry6 429 9.32 Paul McCafferty – City Of Derry7 402 9.35 Kieran Harley SM City Of Derry8 430 9.38 Pius McIntyre – Foyle Valley 9 409 9.47 Michael Murphy SM Sparta10 437 9.48 Daniel Quigley – Individual11 457 9.51 Kevin Ferry – Letterkenny A C12 456 9.52 Owen Furey – City Of Derry 13 471 9.52 Conal McCambridge – North Belfast Harriers14 416 9.59 Gavin Stephenson SM City Of Derry15 425 10.00 Shane Gallagher – Finn Valley A C16 406 10.03 Philip Donaghey SM City Of Derry17 455 10.06 Brian Crossan – Letterkenny A C18 420 10.07 Raymond Birch – Letterkenny A C19 460 10.08 Mark McPaul – Finn Valley A C20 480 10.09 Kieran Crawford – Letterkenny A C21 442 10.10 Gabriel McCrossan – Letterkenny A C22 418 10.11 Padraig Friel – Letterkenny A C23 449 10.12 Keith Downey – Skerries24 459 10.14 Aidan McKennaq – Letterkenny A C25 446 10.15 Martin Devanney – 24/7 Triathlon26 468 10.23 Stewart McGee – Letterkenny A C27 407 10.26 Odhran McKane JM City Of Derry28 417 10.28 Niall Barry JM Letterkenny A C29 428 10.29 Brian Ferry – Letterkenny A C30 452 10.30 Pat Gallagher – Inishowen A C20 April 2014 Page 1 of 3 Place Race No. Time FirstName Surname Category Club31 424 10.33 Jamie Doherty – Individual32 434 10.34 Kevin Curran – Sportsworld33 419 10.37 Michael McGrory – Letterkenny A C34 413 10.38 Darrren Price SM Letterkenny A C35 408 10.39 Liam Murray SM Individual36 469 10.52 Kieran O’Donnell – Letterkenny A C37 415 10.55 Marina Campbell SW City Of Derry38 461 10.56 Conor Gallagher – Finn Valley A C39 439 11.01 Paul Cosgrove – Letterkenny A C40 453 11.04 Barry Gallagher – Finn Valley A C41 426 11.06 Kevin Kealy – Individual42 441 11.07 Niall Gildea – Individual43 472 11.08 Drew Doherty – Finn Valley A C44 444 11.09 Raymond McGahey – Individual45 454 11.12 Sinead Peoples – Letterkenny A C46 414 11.18 Jarlath Duffy M40 24/7 Triathlon47 440 11.22 Christopher Crampsie – City Of Derry48 433 11.26 Colly O’Donnell – Letterkenny A C49 431 11.32 Angeline McShane – City Of Derry50 412 11.45 Ollie Duffy JM Individual51 422 11.56 Rodney Irwin – Individual52 476 12.00 Ciara Finnegan – Letterkenny A C53 443 12.30 P J Boyce – Cranford A C54 447 12.41 Noel McBride – Individual55 427 12.46 Eugene McGinley – Raphoe Runners56 410 12.50 Kieran Doherty JM Individual57 477 12.57 Cliodhna Dunne – Letterkenny A C58 438 12.59 Damien McGlynn – Letterkenny A C59 230 13.06 Mary Louise McLaughlin – Individual60 464 13.24 Michael Kerrs – Individual61 228 13.32 Paul Skinnader – Individual62 458 13.44 Allanah McShane – Individual20 April 2014 Page 2 of 3 Place Race No. Time FirstName Surname Category Club63 432 13.56 Liam McShane – Individual64 229 14.07 Yvonne McLaughlin – Individual65 473 14.17 Evelyn Boyle – 24/7 Triathlon66 475 15.29 Grainne Bonner – Individual67 401 15.32 Mick Bourke M65 Individual68 474 15.33 Mary Bonner – Individual69 435 15.45 Rachel McKenna – Letterkenny A C70 436 15.48 Pat McKenna – Letterkenny A C71 448 15.55 Brigeen Doherty – Individual72 231 15.58 Hugh Brogan – Individual73 421 16.06 Kevin Sheils – Individual74 450 16.08 Kieran Sheils – Individual75 481 16.31 Michaela Lynch – Individual76 482 16.31 Colm Farrell – Individual77 470 16.55 Ciara Downey – Skerries78 55 16.55 Philip Ward – Individual79 478 17.13 Maeve Goyvaerts – Individual80 466 18.14 Ciara Kerrs – Individual81 467 18.19 Chloe Kerrs – Individual82 465 18.27 Michael Kerrs – IndividualTotal Runners: 8220 April 2014 Page 3 of 3RESULTS AND PICTURE SPECIAL FROM THE LAC EASTER SUNDAY 3K was last modified: April 20th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:2014Easter SundayLETTERKENNY AC 3KResultslast_img read more