Chasing a Dream

<b>Chase Goggans</b> doesn't understand the fuss surrounding embattled Florida State kicker <b>Xavier Beitia,</b> who he considers one of the best in the country. Goggans, meanwhile, is going about his business in preparation for the start of mat drills next month. Plus, there's Saturday's George Strait concert in Tally as well as his academics -- Goggans wants to be an orthodontist.

Chase Goggans hasn't had the opportunity to chat extensively with Xavier Beitia following Florida State's Orange Bowl defeat to Miami earlier this month.

Beitia, of course, missed a potential game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter for the second consecutive time against the Hurricanes. UM has beaten FSU five consecutive games and the pair will open the 2004 season on Labor Day in September.

"I feel bad for him but he's going to be fine," Goggans said.

"X is one of the best kickers in the country in terms of field-goal percentage. Misses are part of it, and he's just had a couple of misses at some tough times. That happens. I believe if he gets another shot at it (game-winning kick against UM), it's going to go through."

Goggans, meanwhile, is looking to continue his development this spring. The coaching staff is expected to give Goggans an opportunity to push Beitia for the starter's role. The right-footed Goggans was considered one of the best kickers in the country while at Coffee County High in Douglas, Ga.

As a senior, he connected on 14 of 18 field goals and 17 of 17 point-after attempts. In 2002, he kicked nine field goals over 40 yards, including a career-long 54-yarder. He enrolled at FSU early and was redshirted last season.

Goggans continues to work on his leg strength and is looking forward to his opportunity this spring.

"I am just going to try my best," Goggans said.

"Accuracy was more my thing (in high school) than leg strength but, if called upon, I feel like I can make any kick. It (fall practice) was okay, not the best, and there's always room for improvement. I am looking forward to getting a chance to kick, to get used to the pressure, to feel the heat."

Goggans, in fact, is looking forward to Seminoles' grueling, early-morning offseason conditioning program known as mat drills.

"They are tough but once you have finished it's very satisfying. It's a feeling very few (people) get to experience -- not that they would want the experience," Goggans said and laughed.

The personable Goggans, who is yes-sir, no-sir polite, is also a well-rounded student-athlete. He loves to fish and hunt, is forever smiling and wants to be an orthodontist. "I am getting into my science courses and have two three-hour labs this semester," he said.

Country as a turnip green, he's also looking forward to Saturday's George Strait concert at the Civic Center.

"He's the king," said Goggans, who is thankful to be attending the concert after his four tickets were stolen from his vehicle when he stopped in St. Petersburg for the night en route to the Orange Bowl.

Teammates Brian Sawyer (video recorder) and Brett Cimorelli (Orange Bowl bag/clothes) also were victimized. "Thankfully, a friend had some tickets (for the concert)," Goggans said.

Goggans also has been busy caring for his new roommate -- a 9-week-old Siberian Huskie. "She's a sweetheart," he said.

And, yes, there's also the burning desire for the opportunity to attempt a game-winning field goal against nemisis UM one day.

"I hope at least one time in my career -- even if it's the only field goal I ever get to kick in my entire life -- I just hope at least one time I get a shot at a last-second field goal against Miami," Goggans said.

"If I don't attempt another field goal the rest of my life, that would be fine. I just want that one opportunity."


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