MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the highlight of every day for 8th-grader Aaron Salmon.
After classes get done at Immanuel Lutheran, he joins Catholic students as a member of the Mankato Loyola varsity football team. The two schools are a co-op, and Salmon is the only varsity player from Immanuel Lutheran.
He’s also the only 8th-grade varsity kicker that he knows of.
It all began last year. The special teams coach asked him if he wanted to be the junior varsity kicker. Salmon was thrilled. But after a summer of working with kicking guru Christopher Husby, and nailing 40-yard field goals the 8th-grader was asked to kick on varsity.
But things didn’t all that well in the beginning.
“The first kick-off of the season didn’t go very good.” Salmon said, “because I was nervous and I wasn’t focusing on the ball. But after that it went better.”
His coach, Kevin Mettler, says Salmon efforts could take him a long way.
“He can do whatever he wants in the future if he continues to work at it,” Mettler said.
And he’s gotten better every week. His role model is Vikings kicker Blair Walsh.
If all goes well he hopes to kick in college someday. About the only thing he doesn’t like is seeing much larger juniors and seniors running straight at him when he kicks off.
“It’s scary,” he said. “I just try and go around them.”