Matthew Flaherty looks to continue football career through college


Michael Horton

Flaherty attempts a field goal against Macarthur High School.

Chris Luck, Sports Editor

Senior kicker Matthew Flaherty shone this year as the K-Park football team kicker, becoming the only thing between the Panthers and a goose egg on the scoreboard multiple times this season.

Flaherty has played soccer his entire life and for a long time believed that soccer was going to be his way to get into college by playing at the collegiate level.

But things change, during and his sophomore year, he decided to start kicking for the football team in addition to playing soccer.

This season was a struggle for the Kingwood Park Panthers as they finished with a 2-8 record in district 21-5a and finishing seventh overall.

Despite the season not going the way everyone had hoped, Flaherty and his leg continued to shine through the struggle.

“It was tough to quit club soccer because I loved it so much but the amount of opportunities to play college football far outway those to play college soccer in the state of Texas,” said Flaherty.

The sophomore awed the crowd by nailing field goals whenever asked during the Panthers playoff run in 2014.

In his junior and senior seasons Flaherty  tied for first in the district for most field goals made in a season, and started to draw more attention from college scouts for his kicking rather than in soccer.

The schools could not help but notice how he was off the field as well.       

“He is an absolutely outstanding student on and off the field, and is calm and collected under pressure when we need him the most,” said head football coach Clayton Maple.

This season, varsity receiver Cole George took care of the holding duties for Flaherty.

“When he walks up to the ball he does not say a word,” George said. “He just focuses on the task at hand and more times than not is successful with room to spare.”      

Flaherty has drawn interest from colleges such as University of Texas San Antonio, Lamar, New Mexico State, University of Incarnate Word, Hardin Simmons, and Southwestern. He has not made a decision yet but is in the process narrowing down his choices.

Flaherty hopes to eventually kick in the NFL following his college career because of the lack of injuries kickers sustain throughout their careers, and how much time he could play the game.

“Kicking to me comes naturally,” said Flaherty,. “You can learn to cope with high pressure situations and once you get used to it, kicking becomes automatic.”