Asa Fuller didn’t have time to ease his way into his role as the starting kicker for the Servite football team. In his first game last month, he was sent onto the field to try a 48-yard field goal against Fountain Valley with two seconds left before halftime.
He thought back to all the tips and training he’d received over the summer, took three steps back and two to the side, put his head down and blasted the ball through the uprights at Cerritos College, giving the Friars a 24-7 lead in the eventual 45-7 victory.
“It was a good moment,” Fuller says. “A good way to start off the season.”
Fuller is just a junior at Servite, but already appears destined to be the next great kicker for the Friars. He made his first four field-goal attempts overall through the first three games this season, none bigger—or longer—than the 48-yarder.
“I felt pretty confident about what I was doing,” Fuller says of the moment.
Undoubtedly, the greatest kicker in Servite history was Pat Blottiaux, who booted six field goals of at least 50 yards during his three-year varsity career, including a 56-yarder as a senior in 1988 that was an Orange County record until it was broken the following year by Phil Nevin of El Dorado High.
Blottiaux, known as “Blo the Toe,” went on to kick for four years at the University of Colorado.
Another good one for the Friars was Connor Loftus, who graduated from Servite in 2011 and then kicked for four years at Penn. Loftus still owns Servite school records for most field goals in a career (24) and a game (four).
Connor’s older brother, Mike Loftus, was also ranked as one of the top 10 kickers in the nation during his senior season in 2009 before handling punt and kickoffs duties at SMU for four years.
And before the Loftus brothers was Kevin Goessling, who earned all-Orange County honors his senior season in 2006 before moving on to Fresno State, where he set a school record with a 58-yard field goal in 2008.
Fuller believes he’ll join the 50-yard club before he’s finished at Servite. He routinely kicks 55- to 60-yarders in practice.
He got the bug from his father, also named Asa, who kicked while in high school in Texas and later at Texas State. A soccer player from an early age, the younger Fuller says the kicking aspect came naturally and he’s been able to fine-tune everything from his pre-snap routine to his leg swing under the guidance of kicking coach Chris Sailer, who runs a training academy out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks.
“He breaks it down very well,” Fuller says of Sailer. ‘’He makes it simple for you to remember stuff, go through your repetitions correctly and have good routines every kick… He tells you to make sure that every kick is the same. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on the hash or the middle of the field, it’s the same kick.”
Fuller likes to compare kicking a football to a golf swing.
“Keeping the head down part helped me a lot,” he says. “That’s what I was having a problem with, from the beginning, and I worked to fix that and that helped me a lot.’’
Kicking has certainly become a good habit for Fuller.