'One kick doesn't define you,' WSU kicker Erik Powell says of his down, then up, 2016 season

SPOKANE — Forgetting the past is key to the mental health of a kicker, says Washington State specialist Erik Powell. But remembering the mantra “one kick doesn’t define you” was instrumental in overcoming his horrific start to the 2016 season and finishing with a flourish.

“You’ve got to go on to the next kick,” the rising fifth-year-senior lefty from Vancouver, Wash., told CF.C following WSU’s final spring game in Spokane in this video interview:

Powell opened 2016 with misses on his first five field goal attempts but closed the campaign with nine treys out of his final 10 tries.

He also crushed the ball in limited punting duty, averaging 48.7 yards in seven boots — six against Minnesota and one (a 68 yarder out of his own endzone) against Washington.

In high school, Powell was an all-league kicker and all-state soccer player at Seton Catholic. He walked on at WSU in 2013 and redshirted that season. In 2014 he handled the majority of WSU’s kickoff chores and saw spot duty on placements. 

He put a stranglehold on the starting job in 2015 and is on track to finish No. 3 on WSU’s all-time kick-scoring list behind former All-Americans Drew Dunning and Jason Hanson. Mike Leach put him on scholarship last summer.


- Hand it (literally) to El Toro High in Lake Forest, Calif. Powell’s outgoing holder, Kaleb Fossum, and his new holder, Trey Tinsley, are both El Toro products. Fossum, a walk on who was not awarded a scholarship for 2017, has transferred to Reno.

- Powell has seven brothers and three sisters. Both of his parents were collegiate athletes at USF — father Mark in soccer and mother Tina in volleyball.


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