Trenton High School junior kicker Marcus Mannerstedt has been awarded the John Williams Award, given to the top kicker in the North Central Florida area. Mannerstedt finished the regular season 5-for-5 on field goal attempts, with a long of 37, and added two more field goals to his stat line during the playoffs including a 43-yarder in a first round 40-14 win against Lafayette. Mannerstedt was presented the award prior to the game versus Lafayette and received a standing ovation from the home crowd.
“Winning the award means a lot,” says Mannerstedt. “I’ve been working hard for it and just going at it and trying my best.”
The Trenton Tigers entered the Class 1A state playoffs with a record of 9-1(4-0) and ranked in the top five of the state rankings. All sights were set on repeating as Class 1A state champions but the road to Orlando was going to be a difficult one. After getting a win over Lafayette in the first round, Trenton fell in an upset to Hamilton County, 45-20. While the Tigers were unable to defend their state championship, Trenton will have a weapon on their sideline for next year in the form of Mannerstedt’s right leg.
“(I want to improve) longer field goals, more accurate, definitely, and hopefully in a game he’ll (head coach Andrew Thomas) let me kick some long ones,” says Mannerstedt.
Kickers can be overlooked on the practice field as they will stay off to the side and work independently on their kicking. But the sound the ball makes off of the foot of Mannerstedt will turn heads. Even more impressive than the young man’s leg strength is the amount of time he has spent as a kicker, only a couple of years.
“It’s pretty amazing because he’s only been kicking for a short time,” says Thomas. “He had actually never kicked a football until March of 2013 so to be able to do what he’s been able to do the past two years is pretty amazing.”
Andrew Thomas became the head coach of the Trenton High Tigers in 2011 and wasted no time taking a program to new heights. In four years as the head coach, Thomas has a record of 42-4 including state championship appearances in 2012 and 2013. Having a reliable kicker in Mannerstedt is a luxury that Thomas is happy to have.
“My first two years we didn’t have a kicker and it really handcuffed us in our first state championship to not have a kicker and have some kicking issues; but to have a kid like him (Mannerstedt) it’s totally different,” says Thomas.
Mannerstedt plans on attending kicking camps around the country during the offseason in hopes of being recognized by Division 1 universities. The Kohl’s Kicking Camp is regarded as the place to see the best of the best, and Mannerstedt plans on being there and proving his ability against some of the nation’s best.
“It means a lot to just go and compete and do my best and come out on top,” says Mannerstedt confidently. “I would love to get a scholarship, because I’ve been working hard and would love to see that happen.”
With his work ethic, Mannerstedt’s future is certainly bright.