Senior kicker balances soccer, football



Patrick Schilk played on the varsity soccer team this season while also performing as kicker on the football team on Friday nights.

Amidst the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused in this football season, senior Patrick Schilk has made the most of it as the team’s kicker while maintaining a position on the soccer team as well.
“I played football when I was younger for one year, but hated it so I stopped… I always had the urge to play one more time before I graduated,” Schilk said.
Schilk found soccer, and has been on the varsity team since sophomore year.
“I have been playing soccer for as long as I can remember, at least 5 years old, and I have never stopped,” Schilk said.
Schilk went back to football and started as the Bears kicker.
“Patrick had shown interest in kicking last season, but the timing didn’t work out. He approached us this year about wanting to kick and things fell into place,” special teams coach George Filipiak said.
Filipiak added that this is the first time that the football team had a kicker that was also a soccer player, and that the progress can offer other soccer players the position in the coming years.
While this is a first for the school, it does come with some conflicts.
“The biggest challenge was definitely when football and soccer games were on the same day. I would have to play my soccer game and then run to my parents car and while they drove to the football game, I would change in the car into my pads,” Schilk said.
Despite that challenge, this was only one game and the soccer and football schedules have been balanced out since then, so practicing is not an issue either.
“Practices are very easy… I would practice with football for special teams in the first 30 minutes of practice, and then be able to leave and relax for an hour until soccer practice,” Schilk said.
There were points in years prior where the kicker played multiple positions; Schilk is solely the kicker.
“It’s pretty difficult to expect guys to run around, banging into other people, then all of a sudden you’re put in a position now to where you got to make this very important kick, whether it’s an extra point or field goal, because it does make a difference in the outcome of the game,” head football coach Ron Adams said.
Adams also explained that Schilk was offered the chance to also punt, but wanted to specialize with kicking field goals because it is a completely different approach.
While Schilk’s experience on the field has been limited, he proved to have made a difference on the football team.
“Most coaches wouldn’t say that we’re going to take a guy who doesn’t have a whole lot of experience kicking in a varsity team, they wouldn’t give him an opportunity,” Adams said.
Schilk has had experience kicking field goals, but it was very limited.
“I learned to kick field goals when I was out with my friend one day, and he held it for me and after that I just started practicing on my own,” Schilk said.
Regardless of experience, Schilk’s stats are two for three field goals made, and nine out of ten point after attempts made.
Adams’ confidence was improved because of Filipiak’s confidence in Schilk, even when he missed a 46-yard field goal at Woodhaven.
“…that tells you the kind of confidence coach Filipiak has and also as a head coach I got to feel comfortable with the opportunity or the ability to make those kicks, and he didn’t come through that time, but he’s done an outstanding job,” Adams said.