Sophomore kicks off the football season


Helen Lee

Cayman Conley

Helen Lee, Editor-in-Chief

Cayman Conley will be Linfield’s varsity kicker for the 2014-2015 football season. He’s a 6-1, 210-pound sophomore from Ewa Beach, Hawaii. An experienced athlete, he played for three years on his varsity high school football team and four years on his varsity high school soccer team. Below are edited excerpts from a conversation with Conely about his time on Linfield’s team and his hopes for this season.

What has been your experience on Linfield’s football team?

When I first came here, I didn’t really like it. I thought it was way different from back home. But after a while, I got used to it and ended up really liking the team. Kicking-wise, it was a struggle because I was so used to being on top in high school. It felt weird starting from the bottom and having to work my way up, but I think that’s what made me better—because of the challenge. Now, it’s still a challenge trying to happen because anything could happen. It could easily change and I wouldn’t be on top anymore.

Can you tell me more about the challenges you faced here?

It was definitely a challenge being from Hawaii and not knowing anyone here. It’s a really good thing that this team is cool with Hawaiians and people from everywhere. As far as kicking goes, I mean it was hard. It seemed like the coaches already knew the veterans really well, and it was hard to be noticed without overdoing it to the point where you mess up. It’s really hard getting noticed as a freshman kicker.

You’re in the number one spot for the varsity kicker. How’s that feel?

Pretty great. But, I mean, anything could happen.

You said it was really hard for you to get noticed by the coaches as a freshman, but here you are as a sophomore on the varsity team. How did you get there?

Practice. I would usually show up an hour before practice and actually kick. I would do that a lot. Maybe too much sometimes, and I’d overdo it. But I would always show up early to get better, even in the off-season.


How many players were competing for that top kicker position?

Three. Michael Metter, Theo Petropoulos, and me. Metter is a junior, and Theo is in my grade. I was definitely excited to get this spot, and especially to travel. But I was scared, too, because it’s a lot of pressure to be a kicker. I was a little scared of the one older guy that I beat out, and it’s a little awkward because he’s been on the team longer than I have. He’s been on the team for three years, and here I am as an upcoming sophomore taking the spot. I also felt bad for him because he really wanted this spot. But I wanted it too. So, it’s just one of those things you have to live with.

How close are all of you as a team?

All of us now, we’re all egging each other on to be better and to do better. We’re close as a team. Everyone’s cool with each other. It’s not like my high school where groups of people only talked to each other and everyone hated each other. I think one of the things that we do that really makes us closer is that when freshmen come to Dillin, we all have to sit next to each other. Not one person is left alone, and I think that’s good team bonding.

What do you like about being on Linfield’s football team?

We’re really good. That’s pretty fun, to not be on a high school team where every season is so different. It’s not like one season will be a championship season and the next is terrible. We’re always happy, you know? And that brings us closer together.

What are some of your goals for the season?

I definitely want to keep this starting position. My main goal is to just keep it simple—to have a really good season and to become one of the best kickers in D3 football.

And how are you going to do that?

Stay consistent with everything. I have to keep my grades up, that’s the main thing. And practice. Lots of practice. I’m really looking forward to winning that championship and getting a ring.


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