Madera kicker headed to worlds


For The Madera Tribune

Madera kicker-punter-linebacker Richard Lozano.

 

With the help of a 67-yard boot, Madera kicker Richard Lozano earned an invitational to the 2021 Kicking World National Showcase in December.


“I’ve been following their page for over a year on Instagram,” he said. “I saw they were having a camp in Sacramento and I wanted to go. My and my coach helped me pay for it.”


At the regional Kicking World Camp in Sacramento, Lozano worked on all aspects of kicking, including punting.


“They helped me work on my field goals a lot more because I’ve been struggling with that,” he said. “With my punts, I just did what I did and got invited to Texas.


“I hit a 67-yard punt, 52 with the snap. I was ranked in the top 5 of all the camps they had so far. That may change with the other camps.”


Only two percent of kickers at the regional camps earn the Kicking World National Showcase invitation and Lozano earned his.


“At that world camp, there’s already one player committed to Clemson,” Lozano said. “The coach said that after a day or two, most campers get a scholarship and, hopefully, I’ll get one.”


Lozano’s head coach Kenny Paolinelli was also a punter during his high school years and truly appreciates Lozano’s leg.


“He’s much better than I was, for sure,” Paolinelli said. “I wasn’t booting them 50-60 yards. It’s really cool to see. He’s grown a lot. I’ve watched him since he was a freshman. It’s really cool to see the growth he’s had from all of his hard work he’s put in. He’s out here all the time on his own putting in the work. To see that culminate and to see him have success, it’s exciting for me as a coach.”


Lozano follows in a pretty good lineage of kickers, including Evan Rios, who set field goal kicking records during his time at Madera and went on to kick in college before a knee injury.


“It seems like we always get a guy from the soccer team and have success on the football field,” Paolinelli said. “Hopefully, he will show well and do well at this camp to get his schooling paid for.”


“Evan coached me a little bit,” Lozano said. “I saw where he went and I want to do what he did, but even better.”


Lozano, who also plays on the Coyote boys soccer team is growing to love football and it grew from the beginning of his freshman year.


“I had a coach who’s son played football, Jason Escobar, and he coached football, too,” Lozano said. “He told me to come out to kick in the first week of my freshman year. I came out and my first kickoff was 62-yards. One of the coaches said, ‘He’s on the team,’ after just a couple of kicks. I’m starting to like football way more than soccer. I am still playing soccer.”


Lozano is also playing linebacker for the Coyotes because he wants to have some fun hitting people. By playing defense, he knows how important a good punter is.


“It’s really important to get a good punt,” he said. “For me to punt it 60-70 yards, it helps my defense out a lot and gets us closer to the end zone for the offense.”


Lozano will handle all of the kicking chores for the Coyotes, which include kickoffs, but has to really work on his field goals.


“Sometimes, my kickoffs are in the end zone, but they are inside the five,” he said. “I’m working to get everything in the end zone this year. My field goals are very different for me and it depends on how I’m feeling. It just changes throughout the game. I work on field goals, punts and kick-offs in that order.”

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