Evart foreign exchange enjoys season as placekicker

EVART — It was a memorable football season for Evart’s foreign exchange student Hakan Karakoyun.

He served as placekicker for the Wildcats, who were 6-4 and qualified for the playoffs. He joined the team early in the season and became a steady placekicker for Evart. He immediately went to the coaches and asked about playing football.

“They did not know about me,” he said. “It just came out of nowhere. You come to America, you’re an exchange student, and that’s what you want to do.”

He played soccer in Germany. Early in the season, he was already kicking field goals and extra points. Karakoyun only had a week of preparation prior to his first game.

“The biggest adjustment for me was primarily the kickoff tee,” he said.

The football is obviously different than the soccer ball, but Karakoyun indicated kicking it was the same. He kicked three field goals with 30 yards being the longest.

“The key to kicking the field goal is hitting the ball right and at the right moment,” he said.

Occasionally, he had the chance to make a tackle on kickoffs.

“It’s a good experience with that,” Karakoyun said. “It was fun.”

It was also fun being on a playoff team.

“It’s a great experience,” he said. “You get into the school spirit from having a football team.”

Karakoyun indicated he would try out for basketball in the winter and he may run track in the spring.