Hixson's Home-Schooled Kicker

Friday, August 02, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

Luke White has never played varsity football - or football at any level for that matter – prior this high school season and has 10 Friday nights this fall to convince some college football coach, somewhere, he is worthy of an athletic scholarship.

The football resume - four years of violin, two years of middle school soccer and three years of cross country with the Chattanooga Patriots - is a tad thin when it comes to gridiron experience.

A far flung idea one might think. But, desire, determination and hard work are not always found in a typed resume.

“It’s a dream of mine to be a college kicker and a big deal to earn an athletic scholarship,” said White who is an A and B student.

The 17-year-old senior who is home-schooled yet eligible to play for Hixson High School (lives in the Hixson zone) takes his first test three weeks from tonight (Aug. 23) as the Wildcats host Soddy Daisy in the season opener for both schools

“He came to me very raw, but has developed into a real good kicker,” said former U. of Tennessee kicker James Wilhoit who works with high school kickers all across the nation, including UTC’s Henrique Ribeiro and Baylor School senior Rafael Gaglianone.

“Luke understands the time he has to put in to be a good kicker and the potential is there.”

White was one of 45 of the top kickers from a seven state region at Wilhoit’s kicking camp in July and was graded about the middle of the pack by the ex-Vol kicker who was a high school All-American at Hendersonville (Tenn.) H.S. and All-SEC at Tennessee in 2006.

“I am excited to see how he does and the first time he runs on the field to kick an extra point or a field goal in that first high school game will, of course, be a big deal.”  

Working with his dad since last summer, as well as Wilhoit, White is now consistent from 35-45 yards.

If accuracy in practice can translate into productivity in game situations, White should be a vital part of the veteran Hixson offense.

The Black and Gold, which was 7-4 in 2012 and has 22 seniors this year, will be led by senior quarterback Gill Brown who threw for 1,300 yards and ran for an additional 200 a year ago and junior running back Marshall Cooper.

White’s father, Jon White, recalls the start of his son’s interest in kicking a football.

“We were watching some Tennessee games  a few years ago and after Luke noticed the kickers making field goals and extra points he said, ‘I can do that’ and for the last year he has put the time in to be a good kicker,” said the senior White who wrestled at Marion County High School in the early 1980s.

“I am pretty consistent from 45 yards out and on a good day I can make a couple from 50,” said the Hixson kicker who has a career practice best from 55.

The Wildcat coaches and players hope he has several “good Fridays” this fall. Good enough to be kicking at the next level this time next year.

 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


Lee Golfers Lead Division II Tournament

With sophomore Taylor Davis leading the charge, the Lee University men's golf team is flexing its muscles once again in a top-flight NCAA Division II tournament. The Flames put together impressive rounds of 290-283 (573) on the par 72, 7133-yards Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club course and will hold a seven-stroke advantage over second place Columbus State (Ga.) heading ... (click for more)

Dalton State's 1st “Coach K” ID Camp Was Successful

Dalton State soccer coach Kerem Daser says his first “Coach K” Identification Camp was a great first event that included 45 talented and enthusiastic campers. “I was so excited to run my first ID Camp at our new Dalton Soccer Complex at Lakeshore Park,” said Daser. “We had a strong group of players who were here from the local soccer community, other states and countries.” ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)