Zenter’s former coaches reflect on game winning kick

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:57 PM CST
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TECUMSEH, Kan. (WIBW) - A moment that won’t be forgotten.

Ty Zentner’s story continues to blossom as he nailed a 31 yard game winning field goal in overtime to defeat then No. 3 and undefated TCU.

After that moment, 13 Sports caught up with him and his answer said it all.

Shawnee Heights head coach Jason Swift said Zentner’s work ethic, determination and hustle got him to where he is now. Swift says he was hoping K-State would give him the ball in that moment.

”I’m selfish so I was hoping he’d get the chance,” Swift said. “I was hoping, layout, don’t score, give him a chance to hit the game winner. I knew he was going to do it, I believed in him just like every body else and to see him come out on the field, it was a proud moment, whether you’re a fan, parent, coach like myself, it’s a proud moment you know you’re about to see that will last forever and it was really special.”

His kicking coach Steve Block uttered the same words as Swift and couldn’t be more proud for what’s come Zentner’s way.

”He was exceptional here, exceptional at Butler,” Block said. “He needed to all of things he needed to do at Butler to get to the next level and again he proved himself and exceptional at K-State and I think he’s going to go on to the next level and he’s going to have a good shot at it.”

Block said while it might be easy to kick a football, there is one crucial thing that goes into being a strong kicker.

”When I watch Ty kick, I know him like the back of the my hand. I coached him as a kicker for years and years, and I had no doubt that he was going to make it. Kicking is as much if not more about mental than physical,” Block said. “Obviously Ty has the physical attributes. But what sets him a part like kicker’s like him is that mental aspect. The fact that he walked on that field with that smile on his face and knew 100 percent that that ball was going straight through the upright and we’re winning this football game. It was unbelievable and I knew he was going to make it.”

Withy Zentner not playing football until his senior year after playing soccer and basketball, he just started the kick duties midway through the season for the Wildcats.

But, when he was with the Thunderbirds, Swift says they always has a little competition.

”When he was kicking here at Shawnee Heights, he would put it in the end zone for a touchback over and over again,” Swift said. “So, to encourage our kids to sprint down the field, we would say, the first ones in the end zone got a Gatorade. That meant to things, one kids love running down the field to get that Gatorade but two, we knew that Ty was going to kick it really far.”

K-State will meet Alabama in the All State Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve.