Springdale junior Alex Tejeda may just handle the kicking duties for the Bulldogs, but there is no way he can take time to relax on the sidelines this season.
Through 9 games, Tejeda had booted a whopping 54-of-57 PATs this season alone and has also kicked 2-of-3 field goals on the infrequent times that Springdale (9-0) has not gotten to the end zone.
He's also booted almost all of his kickoffs into the end zones for touchbacks, making the foes go 80 yards each time in an attempt to score.
"I have to stay ready all the time because we score so quickly and unexpectedly in so many ways," Tejeda said. "I just have to stay warmed up the whole time. It's a honor and a joy to be on this team."
Tejeda missed a 55-yarder two weeks ago - he was wide not short - and has made a 60-yarder in practice this season showing off the strength of a leg he has built up.
"It's partly from playing soccer, weight lifting using my legs and lots of repetitions of just kicking with kickoffs and field goals," Tejeda said. "It's all worked out rather good for me."
Tejeda has a kicking tutor.
"I have somebody that I work with and he has helped me a lot," Tejeda said. "His name is Jason Campbell and he was with the Razorbacks. We get a lot of work in during the summer."
Springdale coach Gus Malzahn knows he has a big weapon in Tejeda, who is also a soccer star but says he has plans to just play football in college.
"He's got just a great leg and does just a wonderful job for us," Malzahn said earlier this season. "His leg has proven to be both an offensive force and defensive force for us this year because he puts the other team's offense at such a disadvantage by kicking it into and a lot of time out of the end zone."
Tejeda will no doubt get plenty of offers and already getting mail, but has a clear favorite already going into the process anc could join current Springdale seniors Mitch Mustain and Andrew Norman - and maybe so others - on the same team again in college.
"I don't have any offers just yet, but I am thinking Arkansas would be the place to go," Tejeda said. "We are going to have so many guys up there and it would be nice to keep playing with them. It'd be fun."
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