2022 prep football preview: K/P Aidan Flintoft is a quick study

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Ninth and final in a series of stories featuring the best high school football players by position. Today Oaks Christian punter and kicker Aidan Flintoft.

There’s a street in Pacific Palisades where you might see the weirdest scenes in an alley – punters practicing to catch the ball while using a JUGS machine.

Aidan Flintoft, a senior punter and placekicker at Westlake Village Oaks Christian High, has neighbor George Caratan, a punter from Connecticut. Flintoft’s brother, Colin, pitched for UCLA, as did his cousin, Stafon. When they’re all in town, they’ll be using the JUGS machine, making strangers stare and wonder what’s in the water in Palisades?

The Flintofts have been known to go down the hallway of the family home and practice tumbling drills.

Aidan has enjoyed a meteoric rise in football. He didn’t have a punt in high school until last season, when he averaged 40.1 yards. He attended Los Angeles Windward as a freshman and sophomore while debating whether to make football his sport.

“What happened was that my cousin was a football player at Loyola and as it happens with a lot of football teams and kickers, they find a football player to join the team,” he said. he declared. “He did really well, went to UCLA and my brother got into it and because my brother got into it, I ended up going into it.”

During the COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020, Flintoft began spending weekends learning to pitch with former UCLA punter Aaron Perez. Flintoft is apparently a quick learner considering how high and how far his punts travel, not to mention he can kick field goals up to 50 yards.

“There are a lot of keys to being a good bettor,” he said. “I would say probably just be a measured person, don’t ride the highs too much or see the lows and be calm during games. Don’t let a bad ball affect you too much. There is so much technique in punting. It takes time. »

Punting is evolving into more than just taking the snap and kicking. The rise of Aussie punters with their rollout technique leads others to learn how to do the same, along with directional wedge shots to help covers.

It’s always about executing the little things to get the ball going high and far, including a quick release to prevent it from getting stuck.

“A lot of it is flexibility, being able to wrap your body around like a rubber band, pull it quickly, make really good contact on the sweet spot, make sure it comes off with a spiral with the right launch angle,” he said. .

Kickers and punters are known to be a little different, but Flintoft insists, “I like to think of myself as normal.”

He’s an A student who’s committed to Stanford. He earned perfect marks of five on his three advanced placement exams last semester.

As for dealing with pressure, he said, “I don’t really think of the punt as a pressure thing. I try not to think of all of this or any of the kicks as pressure. Every kick is the same. It moves your body in an even manner.

Of course, kickers had a lot to say about the attention Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson garnered during the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium when he decided to stay outside the locker room to watch the midfield spectacle. -time.

“Everyone I spoke to said, ‘It’s sick, good for him. There are probably a few who didn’t like it,” he said.

Kickers/punters to watch

Name, school, location, weight, year, comment

Nathan Alexander, Westlake, 5-10, 152, Sr. Makes field goals from 45 yards, punts

Mathias Brown, Sunny Hills, 6-0, 160, Sr. Had six of nine field goal attempts

Dylan Fingersh, Capistrano Valley, 5-10, 175, Jr. Converted eight of nine field goal attempts

Ismael Figueroa, Temescal Canyon, 5-10, 170, Sr. Made all seven field goal attempts

Aidan Flintoft, Oaks Christian, 6-1, 185, Sr. Stanford averages 40.1 yards per punt

Clint Geryak, St. Francis, 5-9, 140, Sr. Pole jumper made nine of 12 field goal attempts

Mark Hyan, Loyola, 6-4, 210, Jr. The football star has a formidable leg

Dieter Kelly, Orange Lutheran, 5-10, 195, Sr. Still a threat for field goals

John Norell, Glendora, 5-9, 160, Sr. Made six of 10 field goal attempts, has 4.7 GPA.

Blake Wilson, Santa Margarita, 5-10, 180, Sr. Football/baseball star does it all

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