HSFB preview by position: Special talent for area kickers
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Count Hempfield among the WPIAL teams that can score without ever reaching the end zone. With senior kicker John Domit, the Spartans must only approach the 30-yard line.
“I'll try him anywhere from about 52 yards and in,” said coach Rich Bowen, who's seen Domit make 15 field goals.
The WPIAL returns a solid collection of place kickers, punters and kickoff specialists.
Despite a one-win season, Butler kicker Devin Fitz was a first-team all-conference pick last year. Bethel Park's Chris Papalia was a first-team punter.
Domit was voted second-team all-conference in the Quad East behind Kiski Area's Adam Mitcheson, who's now a freshman kicker at Buffalo.
Domit's strength showed in Week 6, when he kicked three field goals against Altoona from 45, 42 and 23 yards.
“He's one of the best kickers in the WPIAL, if not the best,” Bowen said. “Strong leg. Pretty accurate. He keeps getting better every year.”
Also among those with three in one game were Mt. Lebanon's Rob Costantino and West Allegheny's D.J. Opsatnik.
Chris Harlan is staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
1. John Domit
Hempfield, sr., 5-11, 170
Domit made 10 field goals last season, with three from beyond 40 yards. His makes were from 45, 43, 42, 33, 27, 26, 23, 23, 21 and 20 yards. He's made 15 of 24 field goals tried in two years. Domit also made 25 of 28 extra points last season.
2. Devin Fitz
Butler, jr., 5-10, 160
Butler scored only 76 points last season, yet Fitz earned first-team all-conference in the Quad North. He made four field goals, with two longer than 40 yards, and was 9 of 10 on extra points. His kicks covered 45, 41, 37 and 25 yards. In two seasons, Fitz has made 11 of 16 field goals. He also punts for Butler.
3. Mitch MacZura
Central Catholic, sr., 6-2, 195
A 16-game season kept MacZura busy last year, when the Vikings were state runners-up. He scored 103 points with 89 extra points, and made 5 of 7 field goals. His kicks covered 34, 29, 28, 28 and 28 yards. The 29-yarder came in Hershey.
4. Max Herold
Upper St. Clair, sr., 6-4, 175
Herold made only two field goals last season, but his leg was a weapon on kickoffs. Taller than many kickers, Herold sent 34 of his 71 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, according to team stats. He had at least two touchbacks in 11 of his 12 games, and missed only two extra points.
5. Chris Papalia
Bethel Park, sr., 5-11, 195
A first-team all-conference punter last season, Papalia has a strong leg that can kick beyond 40 yards with regularity and allowed no punt return touchdowns last season. A standout athlete, he also will play wide receiver and free safety for Bethel Park this season.
One to watch: D.J. Opsatnik
West Allegheny, so., 5-7, 140
As a freshman, Opsatnik kicked three field goals at Heinz Field in the WPIAL Class AAA championship, scoring from 20, 24 and 32 yards. In all, he made 9 of 12 field goal attempts and 51 of 54 extra points.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hectic week ahead for WPIAL student-athletes
- Gorman: McGinnis to boost Quips
- Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Regional familiar opponents
- Standout kickers around the WPIAL offer valuable, reliable service
- Birdie ponders pretenders, contenders
- Washington routs Southmoreland
- BVA clinches playoff berth