• John Macon Gillespie

Kicking It With Horn Lake's Joe Gee

There are many different parts to a football team. The variations in positions and assignments from play to play is quite mind boggling. How players, at such a young age, get chosen for their position is usually quite simple. In peewee, more times than not the big kids play on the line, the fast kids play the skill positions and the best athlete finds himself at quarterback. Sometimes the positions stick and sometimes they don’t. There is no real way to know how things will play out. It is one of the great things about the game.

As for kickers, it gets a little more complicated. Sometimes finding your team’s kicker comes down to lining several players up and giving them a few tries at an extra point and whoever makes the most, wins the job. Sometimes a coach will convince a soccer athlete to come out for the team. However they come to be the kicker, their importance cannot be overlooked.

For Horn Lake, the ‘whose going to kick for us’ question was answered last spring when Joe Gee was talked into giving it a shot.

“I became kicker at the end of my sophomore year,” Gee told SES Mississippi. “My friend Derrick Pointer convinced me to join because the senior kicker from the earlier season was graduating and he knew I had kicked before, but never anything serious. So I went out and ended up having a pretty good spring.”

Gee went on to knock down over 80% of his kicks in his junior season making him one of the more consistent assets on the entire team.

Being the kicker does not excuse Gee from having to go through the same grueling off-season workouts and practices as everyone else on the team. It may seem like a big price to pay for just a few seconds of glory every now and again on Friday nights in the fall. So why bother with it?

“My two grandfathers and my dad influenced me to play at an early age, because they loved the game, and I wanted to share that with them,” Gee expressed. “My family is a huge influence on me, they encourage me to strive for the best and are by my side every step of the way.”

There is a lot of pressure that comes from being the kicker. It is amazing to think that in many cases, the kicker’s ability to put the ball through the uprights is the only thing standing between a win and a loss. Gee welcomes the role and the pressures that come with it.

“The thing I like most about playing is that the team is counting on me,” Gee said. “When the game is on the line with the clock winding down, I want to be the one that helps my team to victory.”

After another solid spring that saw Gee go perfect in the spring game, he now sets his sights on his final year of high school and his final fall kicking for Horn Lake.

“A few personal goals for this season are to have a 95+% PAT percentage, and an 85+% FG percentage, and get some buzz around me from colleges,” Gee explained. “But the big goal is to help my team go to the playoffs.”

Gee says he loves being an Eagle and believes that they have the talent and drive to turn heads this season.

“Besides being with friends that I have known since I was 3 years old, I like playing at Horn Lake because of our identity,” Gee explained. “Horn Lake is always frowned upon by other teams in our district. But this offseason we have worked hard and continue to work hard. I think that we're going to surprise a lot of people.”

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