PORT ARTHUR — Offensive linemen can sometimes feel like fans and sports writers always forget how hard their job is and how important they are to the team.
Kickers like Port Arthur Memorial’s Ricardo Estupinan can sometimes say the exact same thing.
Titans Coach Kenny Harrison knows exactly how important Estupinan’s foot is to the team. It is why Estupinan has been the Titans kicker for the past three years.
It is why Harrison will miss Estupinan once he graduates this May, even though the kicker has a younger brother waiting in the wings.
Estupinan has kicked three field goals this year for Memorial. His accolades do not stop on making sure the Titans come away with three points.
Harrison also can count on Estupinan to average nearly 48 yards a punt, and to place punts at almost any angle the Titans coach calls for in a huddle.
“He has some big time plays for us,” Harrison said. “He can also come up huge for us on kickoffs. If our opponent has a legitimate return man, he has the ability to kick the ball out the back of the endzone. That can come up big. I’d much rather see a team start at the 20 than seeing the back of the return man’s jersey as he is running to score.”
Estupinan came to the Titans after a coach asked him to play football while he was a freshman soccer player. The starting spot was Estupinan’s once he became a sophomore.
Estupinan’s sophomore season saw the Titans reach the semifinals and set the tone for one of the kicker’s main goals for his senior year.
“That year was great when we reached the semifinals,” Estupinan said. “We were only one game away from reaching the championship. We want to go back and bring a title home to Port Arthur.”