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Monte Vista junior kicker/punter Nathan Price originally entered the school as a safety and wide receiver, and special teams wasn’t expected to be part of the equation, at least not from the jump.
Price didn’t have an interest in being a kicker, but during the summer before his sophomore year, the varsity kicker transferred to IMG Academy in Florida. So, Price had to take it seriously, and he loved it.
“I just started working every day just getting out at like 7:00 in the morning, just kicking every morning before weightlifting,” Price said.
Originally a soccer player, Price has watched that sport boost him on the football field, part of a career where he is now one of the top special teams players in the country.
That’s all because Price is used to being under pressure. He was always successful at PK kicks and scoring last-minute goals.
All of that was and is still ingrained in Price.
“If I miss a kick, it’s just like, ‘Whatever, I’m on to the next.’” Price said. “You can’t redo it. You’ve just got to keep on going, moving on.”
When Price first started as Monte Vista’s kicker, he didn’t know what to expect. He had varsity in the back of his mind, but junior varsity was the expectation as a sophomore.
However, he got pulled up because of the varsity transfer. He had never kicked a field goal in a game, and he had to be a varsity starter in just a few weeks.
How would this possibly go?
Price thrived in the role, crediting the teammates around him who never made him feel like an outcast. All of that came to fruition in the city’s rivalry game.
“At first, I wasn’t that confident, but luckily I had some amazing teammates,” Price said. “At the start it was a little bit rough, but I really had some amazing teammates who really brought me up. And once I kicked the game-winning field goal in the San Ramon game, definitely my confidence was really high.”
During the spring, Price averaged 38.8 yards per punt and 46.6 yards per kickoff. He also was 17-for-18 on PATs and connected on a 40-yard field goal.
Colleges are showing interest, too, as Price said he is hearing from some Division I programs and high academic Division III schools.
It’s a credit to his work ethic, one instilled from his family with the 40-minute drives to school every day at Monte Vista in traffic and all the drives to camps, training and everything else.
“I think that’s just I’ve always just wanted to do it better, whether that’s in school or athletics I just always wanted to push it to the next step,” Price said.
For his senior season, Price wants perfection.
As a sophomore, he aimed for one touchback. As a junior, he wanted one touchback per game.
As a senior, he wants everything.
“Next year I want to get only touchbacks, so just getting stronger and getting in the weight room and continue kicking,” Price said.
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