By Ben Short / Sports Editor

A lot of players on the Hutchinson Community College football team have stood out this year and helped the Blue Dragons continue an undefeated season.

One in particular, Cole Segraves, a freshman kicker from Maize.

Cole Segraves attempts an extra point after a Blue Dragon’s touchdown against Iowa Central. Segraves would go on to kick the game winning field goal in overtime.

Segraves has been a dynamic piece to the Blue Dragons and has even kicked a game winning field goal in overtime against Iowa Central.

“It felt great, because that was one of the things going into the season that I wanted to work towards receiving,” Segraves said.

Being consistent is not by accident for Segraves. He said he gets his head in the right place before going out and kicking.

“Leading up to the game winner, I was visualizing the kick, knowing it was a possibility that I’d have to kick one,” Segraves said about the Iowa Central game-winner. “I kept to myself on the sidelines, getting into a calm mindset, and reminded myself to trust my unit. I ran out on the field and lined up and kicked it. Iowa Central called a timeout, so I swung my legs a few times and got back lined up to kick it for real this time. The snap was great and the hold was perfect, so all I had to do was hit the ball straight into that stiff wind and the rest would take care of itself. Nikko Taylor started to push me to start the dog pile, so we all started screaming, it was the best football moment I’ve ever experienced.

“It’s a blessing to be put in the situation to help us win, and I’m ready for whenever the next opportunity arises.”

Game’s on the line, how can you not feel pressure? You perfect your craft.

“The way I control the pressure is by practicing,” Segraves said. “During practice we do a lot of kicks from every spot on the field, so I’ve already visualized each kick before the game. When I run out on the field I do a quick prayer and just trust my holder and snapper and the rest will take care of itself.”

Kickers are important in football and for Segraves, he’s one of the most important players on the field for the Blue Dragons.

“It really is an important piece of a successful football team,” Blue Dragon coach Drew Dallas said. “Consistency at that spot means you feel confident with putting points on the scoreboard when you get close to or in the red zone.  You obviously want to score touchdowns when you get the ball down there, but having a security blanket and being able to add your point total really changes the game.”

Segraves is 8 for 13 kicking field goals this season, with a season-long of 46 yards against Dodge City. After a sluggish start, Segraves has hit seven of his last eight field goals. He was the NJCAA national special teams player of the week for his performance Saturday at Garden City when he drilled 3 of 4 field goals and all eight extra-point attempts.

When the game comes down to the wire and you win on a game-winning field goal, everyone is emotional – players, fans, and even coaches.

“Relieved. That was such a big moment in our season,” Dallas said about the winning kick against Iowa Central. “We won a game against a very good football team when we didn’t play our best. That kick by Cole really spring-boarded his confidence and he has continued to grow from that moment on.”

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