WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) -- "Team", as defined in the dictionary, is coming together to achieve a common goal. On the field this last Friday in Winona, a high school football player got his chance to help his team in a time of need.
When it comes to High School football, rarely anyone is a shoe-in for a place on that field. So when JV-player Luke McDevitt got his chance to fill in for an injured teammate, he may have been wearing his lucky shoe.
It can be a struggle earning that spot on the varsity squad, but when an opportunity opens, most players try to make the most of it. With the Winona Winhawks starting kicker out for the game, Luke McDevitt saw his opportunity.
"It was between me and four other guys who are all kicking," said Winona High School Junior Luke McDevitt. "And our kicking coach decided to go with whoever is most consistent and that was me."
Luke would play Friday Night's home game against Mankato East as the starting kicker.
"Special teams coach told him right before the game that he got the nod to kick, so I really had all the faith in the world in him," said Luke's teammate and long-snapper Chris Hansen.
"I didn't really think anything of it," said snap-holder Matt Hovey. "Normally we stay after practice, maybe, up to 20 minutes, just kicking field goals."
Just five and a half minutes into the game the Winhawks scored their first touchdown. The stage was set for McDevitt's debut. "I was extremely nervous coming in there," he said.
With the snap of the ball and a swift kick, Luke was able to tack on the extra point. "Luckily I have a great snapper and great holder and I had all the time in the world because of my line," he said.
"Surprised? No," explained WHS Football Coach John Cassellius. "I was pretty excited for him and excited for the team. We got that touchdown early and it makes that first one a good confidence booster."
Luke carried that confidence into his encore appearance after the Hawks next touchdown, and then three more for good measure.
Five Points flew through the uprights making a perfect five for five night.
With a victory, Luke can breath easy, at least for a little while.
"We don't know for sure if our main kicker, our starting kicker, is going to be back or not," said Cassellius. "If not, we won't hesitate to bring Luke out there in that situation and put another point on the board."
Luke explained he doesn't consider himself an outstanding athlete. "I don't run a solid forty. Can't jump too high. But I can kick!"
The Winhawks wound up winning the game by 15 points. Which prompts the question; did his five points really matter?
You bet they did.
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