KENT, Ohio — Joshua Montanari from Kent High School is proof that dreams do come true.
“I had always seen the kicker on the field and looked at it as something I could do because I always wanted to be under the lights on a Friday night, I always thought that was one of the coolest things I could do at my age,” said Montanari.
The 18-year-old plays on the Kent Roosevelt Soccer team but also serves as the full-time kicker and punter for the Rough Riders football team.
“It’s a weapon,” said Montanari’s coach, Alan Vanderink. “He gets it up in the air fast and that’s the biggest thing you want to see as a kicker but then he has the leg and the distance from further out and he has the accuracy to sky kick it if we need to or just kick it in the end zone.”
The Kent senior, who carries a 3.9 GPA, is the number two ranked kicker in the nation by Kicking World for his power, consistency and overall experience.
“Being number two also tells you that you can be number one,” he said. “It’s that eye opener that you’re up there.”
Montanari has started to draw interest from colleges across the nation, including some Division I football programs.
“Even though I’m a younger guy, I come from the old school mentality that it is okay to punt the football, but it’s especially okay to punt the football when you have him,” said Coach Vanderink.
Last year, Montanari was 14/15 on field goals as a junior. His only miss was from 49 yards out but his longest was from 57 yards away, so we decided to put the number two kicker in the nation to the test, having him kick a field goal from 30-yards, 40-yards and even 50 yards. And as expected he hit all three.
Montanari and his teammates will open the season Friday night at home against Canton South.