November 13, 2023
I like to tell people that I earned a varsity letter playing football at a D-I college. Which is true. As far as it goes. The full story is that I was, for one year, the kicker for the Lightweight Football team — which was considered a varsity sport — at Princeton, which was at the time competing at the D-I level.
Oh, and by the way: I will forever hold the record for most field goals in a single game in Princeton Lightweight Football team history (three, by the way, all in the first half against Rutgers). That record is unbreakable. That’s because Princeton disbanded the Lightweight Football program a few years ago.
My point (assuming I had one) is that I am drawn to college kickers who have an interesting back story.
University of Virginia kicker Matt Ganyard has an interesting back story.
Ganyard played soccer in high school, and then attended UVA, where he played club soccer and from which he obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2011. After graduation, he was commissioned an officer in the Marine Corps where, for ten years, he piloted the Bell AH-1 two-seat Cobra attack helicopter.
He married, had three children, and then returned to UVA to obtain a master’s degree.
Where, it turns out, he was still eligible to play college sports.
And since he had a pretty good leg, he walked on to the football team this year.
Incredibly, at the age of 34, he has handled all of the Cavalier’s kickoff duties for Virginia this year.