Pumped up kicks: Myrtle Beach Kicking Academy back to work

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - It's not the most well known position on a football field, and some players see minimal action in a game.

But the Grand Strand has long been known for the ability to export some of the best special teams contributors in the state, and the Myrtle Beach Kicking Academy hopes to keep that trend going for years to come.

"Being a kicker and a punter, it's kind of a lonely job," said former North Myrtle Beach and Boston College punter Ryan Quigley. "Especially in high school. Usually there aren't specific kicking or punting coaches."

Quigley just signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets this summer. He reports to camp on Tuesday.

This weekend, with the help of Quigley and South Carolina kicker Max Huggins (a former Myrtle Beach Seahawk), the future of talented feet on the gridiron comes to learn more about long snaps, field goals, punting and more. Even classroom sessions are part of the process. Learning the technique is important now.

"You can lose a game by having one bad snap," said former Boston College long snapper Sean Flaherty. "So basically, what I want to do is help these guys out the best I can. I had somebody help me and I'm forever grateful, so I want to give back to whoever is willing to learn, and whoever is willing to come out here."

Even those at the highest level of the profession continue to improve, so the determination from the young talent in the region is always welcome on the field.

"I'm learning stuff everyday still," said Quigley. "I was down in Florida with a coach for a few weeks, and we were doing the same things. The little drills, just fine tuning."

"It's kind of refreshing," said Flaherty. "You go through the ropes for so long, you keep doing it and doing it. The higher you get, the more business-like the game gets, but now you get younger guys doing it. And it is awesome to see people that just want to learn and play for the love of the game and just try to get better."

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