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Trib HS Insider Q&A: Freeport's Dustin Koedel

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Freeport senior Dustin Koedel punts during a game at Ford City last week. Koedel, a two-way starter, excels on special teams, particularly in the return game.
Top high school sports
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 11:44 p.m.
 

Call Freeport senior Dustin Koedel a postal delivery man — he certainly knows how to return to senders.

Koedel, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior running back and defensive back, is a special teams extraordinaire. As a junior, he averaged 21.64 yards per punt return and 33 yards per kick return. He also maintained a 33.2 yard-per-punt average.

He looks no less effective this season. Last week, he returned a kick 78 yards and caught a 13-yard touchdown pass a few plays later.

Q: What's the biggest difference between kick and punt returning?

A: I think punt returning is a lot more scary than kick returning. On kick returns, you have time to see where people are. When you're punt returning, you're looking straight up in the air while they're coming right at you. So it's easier to see the holes and everything when you're kick returning.

Q: Which one do you prefer, and why?

A: I like punt returning a lot. I just like it because I know my teammates will block for me, and once I make a couple moves, it's off to the races.

Q: How frustrating is it when you look like you're home free and someone catches you?

A: It can get frustrating, but on the other hand, I kind of think of it as my job as returner to put my team in better field position so they have a better chance of scoring.

Q: Do you use your return knowledge when you're punting?

A: Yeah, I kind of do because I know I hate returning to the short side of the field, so I usually punt it there. And I hate catching really high ones, so I try to kick it higher. It's kind of like everything I don't like to do as a returner, I try to do it as a punter.

Q: There are a lot of Twitter users at Freeport. Who is the king of Twitter at the high school?

A: I'd have to say (junior) Mitchell O'Shell. At the beginning of summer, I don't know how many tweets he had, but he wanted to get to 10,000 tweets, so he'd tweet everything that came to his mind. It was kind of funny. He uses it way more than anybody I know.

Q: What is the preferred pre-game music for Freeport?

A: We listen to some rock, some rap. Sometimes we put on pregame speeches from movies and listen to them.

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