Evart placekicker getting jobdone for Wildcat football team

EVART – As he gets his team ready for the playoffs, Evart coach Pat Craven can take comfort in one very important aspect of special teams: the extra point.

The Wildcats seem to have a situation where it’s money in the bank for PATs, thanks to junior linebacker Larry VanBuren. He was 7-of-7 against Mesick on Saturday’s 49-14 victory.

“I told him before the game we wanted him to be 7-for-7 and he was 7-for-7,” Evart coach Pat Craven smiled.

What was especially impressive was that the rainy weather made for sloppy conditions and some of VanBuren’s kicks weren’t solid boots. But he got the job done in getting the pigskin over the goal posts.

“It feels pretty good,” VanBuren said. “It feels good to be consistent.”

The key in getting the kicks over is, “just practice, practice, practice,” said VanBuren said.

Quarterback Jacob Fortune also holds the ball well, VanBuren said adding that the team practices PATs a couple times a week.

VanBuren has kicked PATs in past seasons.

This year “I’ve done a lot better, I’ve improved a lot,” he said, adding that when it comes to field goals, “I’ve tried two or three (none made). I’m pretty sure I can make it.”

The Wildcats are 6-2 and play at home Friday against Manton to end the regular season before going into the playoffs.

The kicking game could prove to be critical in the playoffs, but VanBuren is optimistic repetition is the key. “It’s a routine thing,” he said.

VanBuren is a linebacker on defense guard on offense and starts on defense.

“Our defense has played well,” he said. “The key is sticking together and playing as a team.”

Defensively, it is VanBuren’s role to make plays.

“We’re not focused on making tackles, we’re focused on making plays,” he said.

Junior quarterback Jacob Fortune is confident the Wildcats can earn their seventh win this week and have a strong playoff run.

“We’ve been working hard and stay focused with everyone doing their jobs,” Fortune said. “We have to keep focused and do our jobs.”

Fortune stepped in to replace Evart’s Jess Lang, who had graduated from last year’s team.

“It was pretty tough shoes to fill, I think I’ve done pretty good,” Fortune said.