Graupner both soccer player and football kicker

Meredith Cannon

Of all of the athletes at BSM, only sophomore Paul Graupner can say that he plays two varsity sports in the fall.  This year is Graupner’s first year playing on both the varsity football and soccer teams.

Graupner has played soccer since he was young, but had never played football before.  He got the idea of being the kicker for the football team from his dad, so he e-mailed football head coach Jon Hanks to see if the position was available.  There wasn’t a tryout for the spot––he simply showed up, demonstrated his skills, and received the kicker spot.

Graupner’s primary sport is soccer, but he goes to football practice if he can make it there. Sometimes he will go to soccer practice and then go and kick afterwards for football. “Practices don’t normally conflict, but it’s hard to manage both sports on top of schoolwork ,” said Graupner.

Graupner’s role on each of the teams differs; for soccer, he gets to play most of the game but he is only involved in a few plays at football.  “It’s hard to decide which games are more fun, it depends, but both are really exciting,” said Graupner.

Kicking does not differ in the two sports; in fact, they are completely the same.  Graupner uses the same cleats and the same form–inside of the foot, when kicking field goals or clearing the ball in soccer.

On the soccer team, Graupner plays sweeper for the Red Knights who are 8-4 so far this season while the football team is 2-2. The BSM kicker is 9 for 11 on extra points and 2 for 4 on field goals this season.

Graupner may like his football number, 4, better than his soccer number, 13, but his favorite sport is soccer, not football.  “I like soccer better only because I’ve played it longer, but I really like the new experience of football,” said Graupner.

Apart from winning the rest of the football and soccer games, one of Paul’s goals for the soccer season is to have a shutout every game.  His goals for football differ. “I want to make all of my kicks for the rest of the season,” said Graupner.