South Effingham High School
5-10, 185 lbs, Senior
Patrick Bolen was born to kick a football. His older brother Bucky was a kicker at South Effingham and Patrick grew up watching him play. “When he started, I started,” says Bolen. “I started kicking in the 5th grade but I didn't start playing until the 7th grade. I just fell in love with it. He set a good example for me. Without him, I probably wouldn't be playing football right now.”
It all started coming together quickly. When he was in the 8th grade, Bolen booted a 43-yard field goal. As a junior in 2002, Bolen made 18 of 20 extra points and 6 of 8 field goal attempts. His longest was a 45-yards that won a game in the final seconds against Swainsboro.
Going into his senior season at South Effingham, Bolen is looking forward to an even better season, “Basically, I'd like to kick a lot more field goals and put a lot more (kickoffs) into the end zone.”
In 2002, Bolen booted 23 of 41 kickoffs into the end zone and also averaged 37 yards per punt.
This summer, Bolen attended kicking camps at Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Middle Tennessee. When he was in Starkville, Mississippi, Bolen caught the eye of the Bulldogs’ Head Coach Jackie Sherrill when Bolen booted a kickoff 85 yards from the 35 through the goal posts. Observers told him the only kicker they ever saw do that was Sebastian Janikowski.
Other football players often make fun of kickers, but Bolen works out in the weight room with the other Mustangs, “We do basically the same workout,” says Bolen. “We might do a little different stuff, a lot of squat work out, leg curls and leg extensions.”
Bolen says he goes through the same routine every time he takes the field to kick. He says he hasn't changed his steps since he started. “You just got to focus, make sure you get your steps right,” says Bolen. “You can't worry about the fans, the other players. You just got to focus on hitting the ball right. It’s all mental, basically. That’s what kicking is.”
Bolen looks to the future with an eye to playing at the collegiate level, “Hopefully I can play division one football anywhere,” says Bolen. Whoever offers a scholarship, that’s where I'll go. Hopefully, I'll stay close to home, the Southeastern Conference. It doesn't really matter where I play, just to go play football.”
His preference would be to play in Athens, “I love it up there, I fell in love with Georgia, but they signed a kicker last year.”