It’s now 64 days to kickoff against North Dakota State University. And speaking of the number 64, that’s how many PATs Anthony Cantele successfully converted in 2013. Out of 64 attempts. That’s 64 points someone else (the solution should excite you) must replace (in addition, of course, to the 19 field goals he booted). And though the point after touchdown may seem routine and easy, it can’t be taken for granted.
The 64 PATs Cantele connected on weren’t necessarily that important last season; K-State’s closest game in 2012 was the five point victory over Oklahoma (the Wildcats were blowing teams out last year, for those of you that have forgotten). However, in 2011 the team had a four overtime, 53-50 win over A&M and a late-minute, 36-35 win over Baylor. Whiffing on one of those attempts could have spelled calamity in either contest, sending Oklahoma to the Cotton Bowl over the Wildcats.
For additional perspective, nine players attempted more PATs than Cantele last year. Only three were perfect. It takes a snapper able of delivering the properly ball every time, a holder that can adjust to any deviations from perfection, and a kicker capable of hitting a ball sitting at a bad angle in the rain to maintain 100 percent perfection, and that’s what Cantele and company did.
While Anthony is gone this year, the Wildcats don’t have to look far for his replacement. Jack Cantele, his younger brother, will be a redshirt sophomore this year and appears every bit as talented. Playing football at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Jack was an all-state selection as a senior and kicked for three years on the varsity team. He also compiled over 50 touchbacks and made 15 field goals.
Jack Cantele was able to showcase some of his abilities during the spring game, and booted a 51-yard field goal. And while he may not have the distance of Martin Gramatica, the team looks to be in capable hands (feet?) over the next three years. Said coach Bill Snyder after the field goal, “He hit it so there was a little bit of pressure there. I was pleased with him. I told him he could keep his scholarship.”