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Bishop Miege Press

The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Bishop Miege Press

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Kickin’ It With Luke: Junior excels in diverse set of varsity roles during fall season

Ready+for+the+competition%2C+junior+Luke+Whitmore+showcased+his+skills+in+the+Stag+Strut+field+goal+contest.+Whitmore%E2%80%99s+athletic+talent+became+known+in+his+middle+school+years.+
Will Atchity
Ready for the competition, junior Luke Whitmore showcased his skills in the Stag Strut field goal contest. Whitmore’s athletic talent became known in his middle school years.

The kickoff song faded away. Four return specialists watched the ball fly off the tee into the air, but not one of them made a move for it. The ball landed perfectly between each of them, then died on the ground.
It was a live ball, and the kickoff team jumped on it. Three plays later, the Stags were in the Blue Valley West endzone.
The unique abilities junior Luke Whitmore brings to the table showcase why the football program has embraced the right back, whose first sport is soccer, as the kicker for the past two seasons.
Whitmore’s athletic career has centered around footwork. The dual-sport athlete began playing soccer at the age of 3, then discovered his talent for football in middle school.
“In sixth or seventh grade, I started playing football, and it was natural to kick a ball,” Whitmore said. “I was pretty good at it, so I continued doing it.”
Upon his arrival in high school, Whitmore showed no signs of slowing down. The junior has been dual-sporting from the moment he walked into the building.
“Freshman year I didn’t go to all the freshmen games, but I suited up for varsity to have a backup,” Whitmore said. “I played as many of the games as I could, same with JV.”
Whitmore has found instant success in both sports, winning four state championships in fall sports through three seasons. This season, he made 38 of 40 extra point attempts and 5 out of 7 field goal attempts, as well as being an All-EKL honorable mention. Still, his ability to balance the two sports is a constant battle.
“Coach Huppe sends out a text with our whole practice schedule on Saturday because soccer changes weekly,” Whitmore said. “Football is always the same because games are always on Friday night.”
Keeping an open line of dialogue between coaches is a cornerstone of Whitmore’s ability to continue to excel in both sports. Head soccer coach Nate Huppe kicked for the football team in high school as well and supports Whitmore’s commitment.
“Communication is key,” Whitmore said. “I’m always talking to Coach Huppe and Coach Holmes on my schedule and on what I can do. I also need to be able to make time for all my other classes in school.”
Despite the seamless transition, Whitmore must constantly adjust to different pressures in both sports. Soccer and football both demand mental and physical strength in different ways.
“[In] soccer, if you make a mistake you might have 75 minutes to make up for that mistake, because I usually don’t come out during the game,” Whitmore said. “Football I might only get one opportunity to make a field goal or PAT (point after touchdown), and the whole game could be written on that.”

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About the Contributors
Daniel Sullivan, Sports Editor
Will Atchity, Staff Writer

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