Roaring Fork Rams placekicker is one of the best in the west |

Roaring Fork Rams placekicker is one of the best in the west

Baron Zahuranec
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Photo by Mike BrinsonRoaring Fork Rams kicker Nate Soucie aims for the uprights against the Gunnison Pirates last season.

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” The Roaring Fork Rams football team had the benefit of one of the best kickers in the state, and an early injury, almost season-ending, didn’t stop the kicker from making his mark this season. Senior Nate Soucie went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and only missed one extra point in his shortened season.

He increased his visibility over the last year with the help of the Ray Guy Academy, a kicking camp run by NFL All-Time Team punter Ray Guy. Soucie attended two-day camps last summer in Colorado Springs and over the recent Christmas break in Arlington, Texas.

He’s the No. 1-ranked kicker in Colorado, and is ninth in the western region and 24th in the nation, by the camp.

“It’s a real good opportunity to compare yourself to kids nationwide,” Soucie said. “My junior year I started to compare myself to other players, and I could tell that I had something going.”

In the Rams’ fourth game of the season against Olathe, Soucie picked up a second-degree shoulder separation when his pads shifted and slid up too high on his body as he hit the ground while trying to make a play.

Essentially, Soucie was supposed to be out for the season; he resumed kicking but had to give up his cornerback’s coverage assignments and running back duties.

“I was out for the season, but I decided I could still kick,” he said. “I started with extra points and field goals, then started to do kickoffs. Then I dislocated my shoulder on a tackle in our last game against Cedaredge.”

Soucie was named to the 2A all-conference and to the Denver Post all-state team, all while keeping his grades up and earning an academic all-state bid.

Who knows how much damage Soucie could have done to the opposition if he’d been able to kick all year?

One thing’s for sure, he has a cannon of a leg. He nailed a 46-yard field goal in Basalt during their homecoming. The kick put the Rams up by 10 at the end of the first half. They went on win 17-6.

“Everybody was there,” he said. “It was a pretty kick. It was good for a long ways.”

His accurate foot and distance-eating capabilities came in real handy on kickoffs, too.

“If he didn’t kick it in the end zone for a touchback, we’d do a pooch kick,” Rams defensive coach Mike Brinson said. “We got two of four (pooch kicks) during the year. He can jump like a deer. He has great legs.”

Soucie swapped the soccer ball for football his sophomore year. He played striker on a club team with a mix of Aspen and Glenwood Springs athletes until he was 14 years old, and was on an indoor premier team also.

He’s looking to kick at a Division I school after he graduates this spring, but he’s not completely sure what direction he wants to go. He’s looking to walk on at Colorado State University in Fort Collins or the University of Colorado in Boulder.

“I’d like to kick in college. It can help me pay for school,” he said. “I’d like to choose which school I want to go to and if I’m able to kick there, that’s just a bonus.”

Soucie keeps a cool head out on the field, not letting the situation of the game affect how he takes a kick. He treats them all them same, saying you can’t treat one kick more importantly than the other.

“You know, I have to say he’s always had the mentality that a kicker has to have,” his mother, Jennifer, said. “You can’t be razzled and he’s very laid back.”

In talking to Soucie, you can tell he’s not one to boast or be cocky. He’s just happy to be doing something he likes, and is grateful that he has a chance to kick at the next level.

But, for now, he’s sticking to his laid-back self, focusing on the rest of the school year, and enjoying the slopeside snow.

He’s so smooth and articulate, one would never know he went through a 15-minute interview while he was snowboarding at Snowmass.

Multi-tasking by cutting down the mountain and talking on his cell phone, Soucie was doing it all. Maybe he’ll start long snapping and kicking at the same time.

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