Last year was a learning experience for Co-Lin punter and placekicker, Bryce Lofton. I think he’d tell you that. The former standout at Pisgah High School grinded through what was a learning experience.
“Last year was an eye-opener,” Lofton said. “You can’t just go out there and be the best like in high school. You have to put in the work behind closed doors to show out in games. Also learning to forget the bad hits and focusing on the next kick has been big for me.”
But last night he was back on track, knocking down 46-yard and 39-yard field goals and all five extra points in a 41-3 win over Southwest. He also handled all of the punting duties and kickoffs, the same as last season.
“Last night was great,” said Lofton. “It’s a great feeling to know you’re helping the team out as much as you can. And it’s great to see the hard work pay off.”
After last season, Lofton started working towards the 2020 season. He dedicated himself to getting in shape in the summer while working with some of the best special team coaches in the Southeast.
“I didn’t do any of the rankings camps but I worked out with Swayze Waters (former CFL/NFL kicker) and also Mike McCabe with One-On-One Kicking,” said Lofton. “Swayze is a big mental coach. He helped me on my technique but also with being mentally strong. Coach McCabe is an amazing coach as well. He knows the science behind hitting a big ball. He got me hitting five-second hang times on punts in two weeks just making a few changes. They both helped a lot.”
Also a wide receiver at Pisgah in addition to being an all-state kicker/punter, the focus on training and reshaping his body has paid big dividends.
“I took advantage of the quarantine time. From March-July I lost 30 pounds. Working out, running, and eating healthy. I had never really worked out independently until I had all of this free time. From March-June, I strictly focused on getting stronger. June and July I focused more on kicking and punting. I can get higher on kickoffs and I can get my leg through on punts. I feel great. I have gotten more flexible which helps a ton. I lost the weight because I knew to play D1 I have to be a difference-maker on special teams.”
That workout regimen included a lot of hours doing exactly what you would expect from a kicker, more kicking.
“Coming into fall camp I went from kicking three times a week to kicking six days a week. I’m kicking 40+ balls every practice with field goals, punting and kickoffs. That’s in addition to the workouts. It is mainly grinding through the soreness everyday until your leg gets used to it.”
The Wolfpack as a whole also had a great night with Co-Lin impressive to start the 2020 season. The Wolves flashed added talent on both sides of the ball and should be in the MACCC mix all year.
“We played well last night and knocked the rust off fairly quick. We can be as good as we let ourselves be. We have a disciplined team and we are playing better together. Everyone has worked hard to be as good as we can be.”