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Football: Hedlund nearing state, national marks

Profile image for By Ben Baby / Staff Writer
By Ben Baby / Staff Writer

ARGYLE — Cole Hedlund’s right leg has yielded a state record, a national record, a big-time football scholarship and some key kicks for Argyle over the past three years.

A couple more milestones are within reach as the Eagles’ kicker nears the end of his senior season.

With 42 career field goals, Hedlund is tied with former Southlake Carroll kicker Garrett Hartley for second in Texas high school history. He’s six field goals away from tying the state career record and eight kicks from tying the national record.

The Eagles have three regular-season games left, which means Hedlund has at least three more opportunities to once again make history.

“It was kind of something I was looking at before the season, to try to make sure that was my goal and that’s what I want to reach,” Hedlund said of the records. “So pretty much before the season I had it set of what I wanted to get.”

Tomas Sanchez (Fort Worth Arlington Heights, 1995-98) holds the state record with 48 career field goals, while Jimmy Stevens (Oklahoma City Heritage Hall, 2003-06) owns the national record with 50 career field goals.

Hedlund is rated as the No. 5 kicker in the class of 2014 by Kohl’s Professional Football Camps. Hedlund orally committed to Arkansas over the summer and later received a scholarship offer from Texas A&M. His older brother, Chad, graduated from Argyle in 2011 and is the starting kicker at Wake Forest.

Hedlund is 10-of-13 on field goals this season.

Excellence has become the norm since Hedlund was starting for the Eagles as a sophomore. Hedlund hit 25 field goals in 2011, breaking the state and national records for most field goals made in a season.

The 5-10, 170-pound kicker made 12 of those kicks during Argyle’s playoff run to the Class 3A Division II state final, where the Eagles lost to Wimberley.

After a prolific sophomore season, Hedlund’s numbers dropped significantly. He only knocked down seven of 10 field goals in 2012.

“There was no rhyme or reason to it,” Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said. “There were probably some opportunities for it last year. We had some issues with snapping and holding last year, and that probably kept me more on the cautious side of attempting field goals than Cole’s success or failures [or] his talents.”

This year, long snapper Kel Straubmueller and holder Jon Pucciarello have provided Hedlund with a steady launching pad.

His first field goal in the season opener was his most impressive kick.

On the final play of the first half against Abilene Wylie, Hedlund trotted onto the field and knocked through a 57-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 24-0 lead. Rodgers said the kick probably had another three to five yards of distance on it.

“We’d seen him do it in practice before, but in a game it’s a whole different situation,” Argyle quarterback Brandon Boyzuick said. “There’s so much more pressure. It was just awesome for him.”

Rodgers said he and Hedlund set out on a mission two years ago of committing to conditioning and a weight room routine, a steady regimen that has produced a well-conditioned kicker and a stronger leg.

Early in the season, he wanted his offense to establish a mindset that it could gain yards in any circumstance. Argyle has scored more than 50 points in four of its past five games.

“Of recent, since we’ve got that mindset established, it’s a pretty easy decision to send Cole out there to just get points with the field goal team,” Rodgers said.

There shouldn’t be any drama regarding a playoff berth for the Eagles, considering Argyle has won 20 straight district games, a stretch that goes back to 2008.

As the Eagles approach their fifth straight district title and make a run at their first state championship, Hedlund will be looking to carve his name into the state and national record books.

“It would be great for me because I’ve been working really hard for it,” Hedlund said. “Every day, I just try to make sure I’m perfect on my kicks. I think it would be an awesome award.”

BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.