BY JEFF EVANS, Californian staff writer
Josh Gallington has been destined to be a kicker since he was a kid.
"I've kicked decently since I was 7," said Gallington, a redshirt freshman at Bakersfield College. "I thought it was something I could go far with."
BC at Canyons
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Santa Clarita
Records: BC 8-1 (5-0 conference), Canyons 6-3 (3-2 conference)
SoCal rankings: BC 5th, Canyons 11th
Radio: Live, 1180 AM
Stats: BC 1,917 rushing yards, 1,915 passing yards; Canyons 1,226 rushing yards, 1,630 passing yards
Directions: Highway 99 south to I-5 over the Grapevine. The campus is east of I-5 near Magic Mountain. The stadium lights can be seen from the freeway.
Gallington was reminded of that by a friend's father.
"I told him when I was 7 years old I wanted to kick in college," Gallington said.
And that's happened.
Gallington is the leading kick scorer in the state entering tonight's regular-season finale when BC travels to College of the Canyons for a 7 p.m. game.
The Renegades (8-1 overall, 5-0 National Northern Conference) need a win to capture the outright conference title. BC is assured of a spot in the Southern California playoffs that start next week.
According to the official statistics issued by the Commission on Athletics, which oversees community college athletics in California, Gallington has 77 kicking points: 11-of-12 field goals and 44-of-46 PATs.
That ties him with Kevin Ditch of Palomar College.
But Gallington should have 80 points. The state stats inexplicably credited a 19-yard field goal vs. Santa Monica on Sept. 19 to backup quarterback Brian Duboski.
"I'm aware of it but I don't think about it," Gallington said.
Gallington is coming off his most impressive game as a collegiate kicker: two 46-yard field goals vs. Ventura two weeks ago. BC had a bye last week. His longest field goal had been 36 yards.
"The first one from 46 was in the first quarter and it was extremely nerve-wracking," Gallington said. "I just wanted to get it up and make sure I didn't kick it into the line, which is what happened with my first field goal attempt against Fresno."
The other 46-yard kick was in the fourth quarter.
"That was scarier because it was closer than the first one," Gallington said.
Gallington was the varsity kicker at Bakersfield Christian his junior and senior years. He said his longest in high school was 39 yards.
In high school, kickers use a tee, which kickers call a "block." But in college, the ball must be kicked off the ground.
"Off the block, you kick it as high as you can," Gallington said. "But off the ground, your technique must be right on. It's leg speed, you must be straight on and you must follow through with your leg to get the height."
BC coach Jeff Chudy said Gallington has earned his success with hard work.
"Josh has spent a ton of time on task," Chudy said. "He never missed a workout in the spring class or summer. ... With his stats, he deserves the recognition."
Gallington said he has a dream of one day being in a game-winning situation.
"I think every kicker dreams of that moment," he said. "But no matter what: You've got to make every kick count."