65 Years of The Greatest Kickers

A Leg Up!

Can you imagine the feeling?

The offense has been stopped again short of a first down. The team desperately
needs a long punt to drive their opponent deep into their own territory.

All eyes are fixed on the punter.

Later, seconds remain in the game and the score is tied. All eyes are fixed on the kicker lining up to kick what could be the winning field goal or extra point. The opposing team and their fans are chanting “MISS IT.”

The kicker’s team and fans are wildly cheering the kicker on. All hold their breath as the kick is made.

This is often the role of punters and place kickers.

With powerful legs and exceptional balance, combined with nerves of steel, what follows are the greatest Chattanooga area kickers (place kickers and punters) to play the game since 1957!

vintage black and white football team image

Jim Arnold

Dalton High School, Class of 1979 

Height: 6’2” | Weight: 211lbs

  • Played in three state championships at Dalton.
  • Went on to play for Vanderbilt, including an appearance in the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl.
  • Made a career total of 277 punts for 12,171 yards, setting an SEC record for each category.
  • Was the first kicking specialist at Vanderbilt to receive All-America honors.
  • Arnold is the only Vanderbilt football player to receive All-Conference honors for each of his four years.
  • Selected for six All-America teams as a punter in 1982, his senior season.
  • Went on to play in the NFL for 12 years after being drafted by the Kansas City
    Chiefs in 1983.
  • Two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1987 and 1988 with the Detroit Lions.
  • Received the Golden Toe award for the NFL’s most outstanding punter
    or placekicker in 1987.
  • Inducted into the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ricky Townsend

Dalton High School, Class of 1971 

Height: 6’2” | Weight: 198lbs

  • First Team All-State as a quarterback at Dalton in 1970.
  • Went on to be the first barefoot placekicker to play for the University of Tennessee.
  • Kicked 33 field goals and 72 PATs for a career total of 171 points.
  • All-SEC in 1972.
  • All-America in 1972 and 1973, the first UT placekicker and only the second specialist to receive such accolades.
  • Kicked for the New York Giants after he was selected in the 1975 NFL Draft.

football kicker

Photo by Andy Mitchell Photography

Laszlo Toser

Ooltewah High School, Class of 2015

Height: 5’9” | Weight: 185lbs

  • TSSAA Mr. Football Division 5-AAA Kicker of the Year 2014.
  • Kicked 77 times in his junior year and 70 were touchbacks.
  • 5A District and Regional Kicker/Punter of the Year 2013 after making three of five field goals and 48 of 50 PATs in the season.
  • Class 5A All-State selection in 2014 after making 15 of
  • 20 field goals and 53 of 54 PATs in the season.
  • Joined the Tennessee Volunteers as a preferred walk-on.

Photos Courtesy of Baylor

Henrique Ribeiro

Baylor School, Class of 2012

Height: 6’0” | Weight: 220lbs

  • Made 40 out of 41 PATs and eight out of 11 field goals, and had touchbacks on 49 out of 53 kickoffs in his high school career.
  • TSSAA Mr. Football Division II-AA Kicker of the Year 2011.
  • Went on to play for UTC, where he was one of only two true freshmen to get time on the field, playing in seven games.
  • Set the UTC record for career points after scoring 307.
  • Set the UTC record after he made 163 out of 168 PATs in his career.
  • Had the third longest streak in Southern Conference history with 101 consecutive PATs.
  • Eight-time SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week.

black and white image of football playerPhoto Courtesy of UTC

Pumpy Tudors

Marion County High School, Class of 1987

Height: 5’7” | Weight: 203lbs

  • All-America punter in 1990 and 1991.
  • Set an NCAA Division I-AA record with a career punting average of 44.4 yards per punt.
  • Inducted into the UTC Mocs Hall of Fame in 2001.
  • Played for the Philadelphia Eagles after he was selected in the 1992 NFL Draft.

black and white image of kicker


John Becksvoort

Red Bank High School, Class of 1991

Height: 6’1” | Weight: 170lbs

  • All-State at Red Bank his senior year after he made six out of 11 field goals and 50 out of 55 PATs.
  • In his high school career, he earned 163 points and his longest kick was 47 yards in his junior year.
  • Went on to be a four-year starter for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, earning a career total of 317 points.
  • Remains the only Volunteer placekicker to finish with a perfect PAT percentage after making all 161 of 161 PATs in his career.
  • Set an NCAA record for consecutive PATs.
  • All-American and All-SEC in 1993 after leading the league that season with 95 points, making 12 out of 13 field goals and setting SEC and UT records when he made 59 out of 59 PATs.
  • Played for the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints in the NFL.

Photo by Stephen Kenney

Alen Karajic

East Hamilton High School, Class of 2020

Height: 6’5” | Weight: 220lbs

  • TSSAA Mr. Football Kicker of the Year semifinalist in 2019 after playing football for the first time in his senior year.
  • First Team All-Region pick in 2019.
  • Went on to play for the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, where he went 45 for 47 on PATs, made 14 out of 19 field goals, and earned 87 points as the team’s primary placekicker in his freshman season.
  • As a freshman, he also completed 58 kickoffs with an average of 55 yards per kick and 18 touchbacks.
  • He made 28 of 28 attempted PATs and seven field goals for a total of 49 points, scoring the most of any player on the team in his sophomore season.

football player kicking

Photo Courtesy of East Hamilton

Jake McClure

East Hamilton High School, Class of 2017

Height: 6’4” | Weight: 196lbs

  • Set an East Hamilton school record with a 56-yard field goal.
  • Punted an average of 40.2 yards in 2016, the longest of which was 67 yards.
  • Tennessee Sports Writers Association class 4A All-State kicker.
  • Received a scholarship to kick for Oklahoma State.

Photo Courtesy of Baylor

Rafael Gaglianone

Baylor School, Class of 2014

Height: 6’0” | Weight: 230lbs

  • Named TSSAA Mr. Football Division II-A Kicker of the Year in 2013 after he was a finalist in 2012.
  • Made eight of 13 field goals and 46 touchbacks on 50 kickoffs in his senior year at Baylor.
  • Two-time All-State and All-Region kicker.
  • Went on to play in college for the Wisconsin Badgers, where he earned a career total of 426 points over his five years on the team.
  • Set a school record of 70 field goals out of 92 attempts, the longest of which was 52 yards.
  • Set school records for most PATs and most attempts, making 216 out of 218.
  • Set a school record of 166 consecutive PATs that only ended when he finished his final season.
  • All-Big Ten in 2017, with honorable mentions in 2014 and 2018.

Photo by Chris Evans

Arturo Rocha

McCallie, Class of 2012

Height: 5’10” | Weight: 155 lbs

  • Named TSWA Division II-AA All-State Kicker for 2010.
  • During the McCallie-Baylor game in 2009, made a 48-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Photos Courtesy of Heritage

Anderson Britton

Heritage High School, Class of 2022

Height: 5’10” | Weight: 155lbs

  • All-Region selection at Heritage for all four years.
  • All-Academic team selection in 2019.
  • Ranked second out of all class of ’22 kickers in the state of Georgia.
  • Tied the school record for longest field goal at 44 yards.
  • In his senior year, he made 21 out of 24 PATs and five out of seven field goals, the longest being 43 yards.
  • Committed to Army in 2021 before playing his final season of high school football.

david collett football player tan and purple suit

David Collett

Soddy Daisy High School, Class of 1998

Height: 6’1” | Weight: 155lbs

  • All-State placekicker in 1997.
  • As a starting player in 25 games for Soddy Daisy, he made 13 out of 19 field goals, 102 of 110 PATs, and had a 95% touchback rate.
  • Went on to play for Tennessee Tech, where he converted 106 out of 121 PATs and had a 90% touchback rate in his career.
  • Set school records for most career points and most career points scored by kicking with 253.
  • Set the school record for most field goals made with a career total of 49.
  • All-American selection in 1999.
  • All-OVC selection in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.
  • Six-time OVC Special Teams Player of the Week.
  • Signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent in 2002.

vintage black and white football team image from newspaper

Photo Courtesy of Chattanooga Central Historical Team

Damon Duval

Chattanooga Central, Class of 1998

Height: 6’0” | Weight: 197lbs

  • All-State punter for Central in 1997.
  • Went on to play for Auburn University, ranking third in the school’s history for career kicking points with 260.
  • All-American selection as a kicker in 2001.
  • First Team All-SEC in 2001 as both a kicker and a punter – becoming the first player named to the same team for two different positions.
  • Played professionally for seven seasons in the CFL – six with the Montreal Alouettes and one with the Edmonton Eskimos.
  • All-CFL selection in 2007 and 2009.
  • Selected by CBS Sports Online for the 2006 All-Star Team as kicker and punter after finishing the season with 201 kicking points, a punting average of 45.4 yards, and a kickoff average of 61.1 yards.
  • Inducted into Chattanooga Central’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

football player kicker

Photo Courtesy of Baylor

Victor Ulmo

Baylor School, Class of 2016

Height: 5’8” | Weight: 200lbs

  • Named Division II-AA East/Middle Special Teams Player of the Year after making eight of 11 attempted field goals his senior year.
  • Went on to play for the UTC Mocs, where he earned a career total of 182 points – ranking ninth in all-time scoring for the school.
  • He made 53 of 54 PATs and had an 82% touchback rate on kickoffs in his high school career.
  • SoCon All-Freshman selection in 2017 after making nine of 12 field goals, 22 of 23 PATs for a total of 49, tying for second place rank of all UTC freshmen.
  • Named SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week after kicking a game-winning field goal of 39 yards against Samford University.

ivan kicker football red uniform

Ivan Mora

Dalton High School, Class of 2019

Height: 6’0” | Weight: 160lbs

  • At Dalton, he earned a career average of 37.3 yards on 160 punts, converted 116 of 119 PATs, and made 23 of 31 field goal attempts.
  • First Team All-State in 2016 and First Team All-Region in 2019.
  • Received a scholarship to play for Wake Forest University in 2018 and completed his first season with 40 kicks for 1,610 yards, with nine kicks over 50 yards and 10 inside the 20-yard line.
  • Served as the starting punter and primary kickoff specialist for all 14 games in 2021.

Joel Bradford

McCallie School, Class of 2007

Height: 5’10” | Weight: 150lbs

  • A five-tool player at McCallie as a receiver and a cornerback, he also handled punting, place kicking, and punt returns.
  • Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State Selection.
  • Went on to play for the UTC Mocs, where he was an All-American wide receiver and a two-time All-SoCon selection.
  • Had a career average of 39.1 yards per punt, with the longest at 59 yards, and covered a career total of 1,135 yards.
  • Named SoCon Special Teams Player of the Week in his senior season after making three punts over 50 yards, four of which were inside the 20-yard line.

black and white football kicker  

Doug Flury

Rossville High School, Class of 1963

Height: 5’9” | Weight: 180lbs

  • Two-time All-State and Honorable Mention All-American halfback and kicker for Rossville.
  • Flury was a key player in the 1962 AA Georgia State Championship Rossville Bulldog team after they went undefeated that season.
  • Went on to play professionally in the SFL for the Chattanooga Cherokees in 1965.

black and white image of football player throwing

Photo Courtesy of Chattanooga Central

Bobby Etter

Chattanooga Central, Class of 1963

Height: 5’8” | Weight: 140lbs

  • One of the best kickers Central has ever seen, Etter set the season record of 36 PATs for the Chattanooga area during his senior year, breaking the previous record set by Gene Etter, his older brother.
  • Went on to kick for the University of Georgia.
  • Led the SEC in 1966 for most points earned by a single player with a total of 57.
  • Played for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL, where he made 26 out of 51 field goals and 50 out of 52 extra points.
  • Inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame for Scholar-Athletes in 1966.
  • Selected to play in the NFL Pro Bowl in 1970.
  • Inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame in 2002.

alex darras notre dame high school football player

Photo Courtesy of Notre Dame

Alex Darras

Notre Dame High School, Class of 2016

Height: 6’3” | Weight: 210lbs

  • First Team All-State selection in 2013 and 2015.
  • First Team All-Region selection in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • TSSAA Mr. Football semifinalist in 2015.
  • Joined the Sewanee Tigers as a kicker and a punter in 2016.
  • In his senior season alone, he made 24 punts, six of which were punted inside the 20-yard line, for a total of 983 yards.
  • Averaged 41 yards per punt in 2019, with his longest covering 52 yards.

Photos Courtesy of Adrian Mora

Adrian Mora

Dalton High School, Class of 2007

Height: 5’11” | Weight: 181lbs

  • Made a 54-yard field goal in 2006 that remains on the list of longest field goals in Georgia high school football history.
  • Received a scholarship to kick for Georgia Southern University.
  • Made 57 out of 68 attempted field goals – the most career field goals in Georgia Southern history.
  • He also ranks twice for most field goals in a single season, with 19 in 2010 and 16 in 2009.

mason football kicker chattanooga tennessee high school

Photo Courtesy of Renee LaFollette

Mason Lafollette

East Hamilton High School, Class of 2019

Height: 6’1” | Weight: 185lbs

  • Class 4A All-State selection in 2018.
  • TSSAA Mr. Football Kicker of the Year finalist 2018.
  • Went seven for seven in field goals, the longest of which was 53 yards.
  • Led the team in points scored by an individual player in the 2018 season.

in memoriam of george shuford chattanooga

In Memoriam: George Shuford

Chattanooga Central, Class of 1959

March 2, 1941 – August 28, 2016

Height: 6’0” | Weight: 200lbs

  • Played on Central’s 1958 football team that went undefeated all season before winning the state championship.
  • Went on to play football for the University of Tennessee, where he lettered in 1962.
  • Kicked a legendary 53-yard field goal against Alabama in 1961.
  • Held the record for longest field goal in UT football history from 1961 until 1968.
  • Led the Vols in scoring with 25 points from three field goals and 16 PATs in 1962.
  • Inducted into the Central High Athletic Hall of
  • Fame in its inaugural year, 2013.
  • Inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

kicker robert cotton letner chattanooga tennessee black and white image

Photo Courtesy of Mary Evelyn Perkinson

In Memoriam: Robert “Cotton” Letner

Meigs County, Class of 1957

January 26, 1937 – May 17, 2009

Height: 6’3” | Weight: 235lbs

  • Received All-State honors at Meigs County.
  • Went on to play for the University of Tennessee, earning three letters as a defensive end and a placekicker from 1958 to 1960, where he earned 42 career points by kicking five field goals and 27 PATs.
  • Second Team All-SEC selection in 1960.
  • Selected to play in the Blue-Grey All-Star Classic in 1960.
  • Single-handedly ended Auburn University’s 24-game winning streak in 1959 when he kicked a 20-yard field goal that allowed the Vols to upset the Tigers 3-0.
  • Led Tennessee to another huge upset in 1959 when his PATs decided the final score of 14-13 against LSU, the top-ranked team at the time.
  • In 1960, intercepted a pass and returned 70 yards for a touchdown against Vanderbilt.
  • Played professionally for the Buffalo Bills in the American Football League.
  • Inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.