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Woodlawn kicker proving big motivations matter, big size does not

2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago Thursday, November 11 2021 Nov 11, 2021 November 11, 2021 6:58 PM November 11, 2021 in Sports
Source: WBRZ - TV

BATON ROUGE - "Big things come in small packages" is a cliché.  But, as they say, most clichés have some truth to them.

Woodlawn freshman kicker Klayton Tate is hoping to be more than a cliché as he embarks on his high school kicking career for the Panthers.

Tate is 5'3" and stands out on the field not only for his accuracy following a touchdown, but also because he's a foot or more shorter than some of the other players around him.

"You know they mess with him sometime and try to see if he is a middle schooler still because of his height," Panther head coach Marcus Randall joked.

"That don't bother me whatsoever. If anything it makes me want to do it better, because I know they rely on me and I rely on them with them around me. I know I can do better," said Tate, who doesn't lack for confidence.

The Panthers haven't challenged Tate with too many difficult kicks so far, as the freshman is working his way into the game having transitioned from playing soccer.

"We started him off with with PAT's because he was accurate, but he still needed to get that strength. And even though there's been a short window here, about two to three months, I've seen the leg get stronger now that he's been in the weight room doing some things," Randall said of Tate's progression, noting that he's up to 40-yard attempts in practice.

Tate says that he would like to be kicking from 50 yards by the end of his next season, but he's also motivated by outdoing his family members who also played the game.

"Mainly (outdoing) my brother, my dad and my grandfather, because all three of them played football. And I just wanted to go farther than them, because they all played high school or middle school and then stopped. I want to go farther than all of them. I want to go to college level and then maybe NFL," Tate said.

The Woodlawn Panthers start their playoff run on Friday night hosting Natchitoches Central at home.

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