WU kicker Perry Schmiedeler ‘a perfectionist at his craft’

Versatile doesn’t even begin to describe Washburn’s Perry Schmiedeler.

 

Not only does Schmiedeler handle all of WU’s kicking and punting duties, the Washburn Rural product is always looking to add wrinkles on special teams.

“He can do anything,” WU coach Craig Schurig said. “He practices all kinds of stuff. As a matter of fact, the other day he drop kicked one. So we’re like, ‘Hey, we can put a drop kick in.’

“He’s practicing stuff all the time, whether it’s certain onside kicks or bouncing ones or whatever. He’s always working his craft. He’s not one of those kickers in practice that does 30 minutes of work and then he’s standing there messing around. He’s always active and working on something and it shows. He’s just a tremendous football player. He’s a perfectionist at his craft, and that’s why he’s so good.”

Through five games, Schmiedeler is averaging 41.8 yards on punts and has made 3 of 5 field goals and all 17 of his PAT attempts. In addition, Schmiedeler stretched across the goal line for a two-point conversion against Nebraska-Kearney and executed an onside kick last week against Pittsburg State.

“It feels good to be a key part of the team,” Schmiedeler said. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win — that’s my job. I don’t care how many field goals I kick. I don’t care how far the punts go. It’s all about helping the team to win. It’s very key to me to help any way I can, whether it’s diving into the end zone or kicking a 50-yard field goal.”

Schmiedeler’s onside kick against Pitt State helped shift momentum in the third quarter. WU was trailing 17-14 when Schmiedeler softly kicked the ball off the tee and followed it for 10 yards before jumping on it. WU scored off a flea-flicker on the next play and stayed in front the rest of way to take a 35-20 win at Pitt State. The 4-1 Ichabods will face 0-5 Missouri Southern at 1 p.m on Saturday in Yager Stadium.

“When I first got to Washburn, they said they were going to install an onside kick that I’m going to recover,” Schmiedeler said. “We started working on it a couple years ago and we practice it pretty much every day.”

It was just the second time WU has attempted the play with Schmiedeler and it was the first successful recovery.

“It took a while to develop the skill to do that,” Schmiedeler said. “It’s an all-or-nothing play. You either get the ball at the 45-yard line or you just gave them the field position at our 45-yard line. But we went out there and got it.”

Another highlight for Schmiedeler was his two-point conversion against UNK. WU quarterback and holder Blake Peterson pitched the ball to Schmiedeler after the Lopers didn’t properly cover WU’s swinging gate on the PAT. Schmiedeler lunged across the goal line to convert the try.

“Once I caught the ball, told myself, ‘I got to get into the end zone,’ ” Schmiedeler said. “You got to do whatever it takes — take a hit, dive, stretch out. I was able to do it.

“The last time I saw the end zone was freshman year of high school. Caught a touchdown from Blake, actually.”

Schmiedeler said he enjoys his heavy workload with the Ichabods.

“At this point in my career, being a junior, I’ve done it for quite a while,” Schmiedeler said. “I feel like it does sharpen my skills at both (kicking and punting). I take limited reps at both, so I have to make sure they’re good reps I’m taking and that I’m putting full effort into each one. I think that helps me in the long run.”

SOUTHERN MAKES QUARTERBACK CHANGE: Missouri Southern’s Brayden Scott will make his first start of the season at quarterback on Saturday against the Ichabods, Lions’ head coach Denver Johnson told the Joplin Globe on Friday.

Scott is listed on the roster as a safety but started three games at quarterback last year for the Lions. Junior Dante Vandeven, a Southeast Missouri transfer, started the first five games for Southern, completing 52 percent of his passes for 768 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions.

The Lions have been outscored 208-49 this season and are coming off a 16-6 loss to Nebraska-Kearney.

“It’s college football and anybody can beat anybody on any given day,” WU senior safety D.J. Olmstead said. “I think we know we have to take care of business. We just have to prepare for this team like we would any other team any week of the season.”

Washburn will induct three into its athletic hall of fame on Saturday — former football player Trey Lewis and women’s basketball players Brooke (Ubelaker) Terick and Carla Sintra-Freeman. The three will be recognized at halftime.

MISSOURI SOUTHERN AT WASHBURN

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Saturday, Yager Stadium

Records: Missouri Southern 0-5, 0-5; Washburn 4-1, 4-1

Radio: KTPK-FM (106.9)

Next: Washburn at Fort Hays State, 2 p.m. Oct. 14

12Days
 

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