SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - The longest kick in the NFL is 63 yards, but on Thursday night, Central Valley Senior Kicker Austin Rehkow bested that by four yards, making his a household name everywhere from the GSL to Sportscenter.
Suddenly, following a Hail Mary of a kick, with two seconds left in regulation during the Thursday night game between CV and Shadle Park at Joe Albi Stadium, Rehkow has been thrust into the national spotlight.
The morning after, walking the halls of Central Valley, Rehkow was still sailing on that powerful boot through the uprights to get CV into overtime.Austin Rehkow day after kick
"I feel on top of the world right now, big man on campus," Rehkow.
He's not only the big guy on campus. He's the big guy everywhere literally. He was on "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show Friday morning, and the highlights of his kick made it to ESPN Sportscenter.
"You listen to them all the time as far as NFL and college, to hear them talk about you, it's fantastic," he said.
Thursday night the CV Bears were down by three near the end of the game. The Shadle Park Highlanders, led by the record-breaking efforts of quarterback Brett Rypien, were moments from victory. The Bears' offense had stalled and it was time for Rehkow to attempt a field goal from 67 yards out.
"When I kicked it, it looked like it was going a bit to the left, so I was like 'Oh no I had the distance,'" he said.
But then the ball started drifting back to the right and through the uprights.
"Next thing I know I see all the refs say it's good [and] the whole team rushes on the field," he said.
The kick was good and suddenly he was an overnight sensation.
"It's awesome. I'm hearing about all these people tweet about me," he said.
Considering his position on the team as the kicker, he's been a bit surprised at his instant notoriety.
"Definitely as a kicker you kind of get the 'You don't do anything, you just sit around at practice' ... now the kicker is the most known guy on the team right now," he said.
But the kicker had a lot of help getting that ball through the uprights from his wingman Scott Hilpert, who made sure the ball was set just right for Rehkow's kick.
"I knew he had the leg, I saw it come off the T and I thought it might be a little left and then it just slid right over," Hilpert said, who celebrated the kick, and the Bears' victory over the Highlanders along with his 18th birthday.
"It was just a great team effort," Rehkow added.
"It was a great moment; definitely one that I will remember."
Rehkow is a triple threat in athletics; in addition to football he also runs track and plays basketball, all the while maintaining a 3.95 GPA.
As for his football future, earlier this week he got an offer to kick for Eastern Washington University, but after Thursday night there's a pretty good chance he might get a few more offers.
He wouldn't say what schools he might like to attend, but did say he wants to play for a school that has a good football program in place.
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