Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • April 13, 2021
Kaiser High School Kicker Kyler Halvorsen Awaits Next Step In Football Journey

Visualization is a technique people use to picture positive outcomes as a way to achieve a short- or long-term goal.

So picture this: Kaiser High School kicker Kyler Halvorsen is starting for a Division I college football team in the near future — and the image of this is “so” centered that his field goals are splitting the uprights “exactly” in the middle between the two posts.

Kyler Halvorsen kicking a field goal for Kaiser High. Photo courtesy of Kit Halvorsen.

That’s an unreal dream, yeah? But it’s also one that Halvorsen is working on with all of his might. Sure, it’s not going to be exactly in the middle every time — by any kicker anywhere at any time in the history of the world. Nor does it have to be.

Really, as a kicker, all you have to do (and it’s not so simple for those of us who don’t practice it) is put it through the uprights.

As of right now, Halvorsen is standing by, like just about every other athlete in the world because of the COVID-19 health crisis. He’s practicing, but so far the outlook on if he’ll get to play his senior year with the Kaiser Cougars is bleak. Football at all levels is iffy, maybe even doubtful.

For kickers, this is the time to show your best stuff — your senior year. Many college D-I FBS coaches do not pull the trigger on offering scholarships to kickers early, but by most accounts, Halvorsen has a chance to get one. If it doesn’t happen, he would definitely play at a lower level — Division I FCS, D-II, etc.

Halvorsen recently posted a video of one of his booming kickoffs on Twitter (79 yards) On that tweet, he put it out there that he wants the Hawaii high school field-goal record, which now stands at 57 yards. He has a successful 53-yarder under his belt.

Not long after that tweet, he also posted a video of a booming punt (70 yards) — another weapon in his arsenal to woo the coaches. In addition, he can also punt rugby style and can be a threat as a runner on fake punts. He averaged 43.2 yards per punt as a junior with a long of 65 and five of more than 50 yards.

“Right now, I’m trying to build up to where I can eventually hit the (field goal) record this year,” Halvorsen said in a phone interview last week. “I want to get a college scholarship and continue my love for the game.”

Halvorsen has had a lot of communication with schools and has gotten the “preferred walk-on” talk. Some of the places that interest him if he had to walk on are San Diego State, Oregon State, Colorado, Butler, Virginia Tech and Syracuse.

Rich Miano, the former NFL safety and former University of Hawaii assistant coach who is active running clinics and camps, is in Halvorsen’s corner. Miano is a friend of the Halvorsen family.

“He (Miano) told me that ultimately I’m going to get a lot of offers,” Kyler Halvorsen said. “So take my time to build and get better and don’t focus too much on the political aspect. It really helps. He’s been super supportive.”

Halvorsen also has two role models who are also his friends — former Punahou kickers now playing in the Pac-10, Jet Toner (Stanford) and Tim Horn (Washington)

“They’re kind of like my older brothers, good mentors,” Halvorsen said. “They’ve taught me how they’ve succeeded and I’ve learned off them how to better myself. Tim told me about what it takes to get used to college life and working on your body, lifting, what to practice, and being aware of not (overdoing it) but getting the work done.”

In practice, Halvorsen says he is making field goals of from 60 to 65 yards pretty consistently and that his kickoff average is between 75 and 80 yards.

“A lot of college coaches say it’s really good numbers and that they would like for me to do that for their team,” he said.

His long field goal of 53 came against Pac-Five and he has also hit three field goals in the high 40s. On extra points in two seasons, he’s hit 54 of 55, along with 13 of 18 field goals.

Kyler Halvorsen’s 53-yarder against Pac-Five in the 2019 season.

“I’d like to say I have good accuracy and leg power and distance, but you can always work on things,” he said. “I want to speed up my time before a (field goal) and be really looking through the ball and not just flying through.

“My mind-set is that I’m going to make every kick and not settle for less. I want to hit touchbacks (on kickoffs) every time I go out there.”

So far, Halvorsen has not been put in a position to win a game with a field goal or extra point in critical moments. But he can’t wait for that to happen.

Soccer was Halvorsen’s main sport for a long time and he was on the path to becoming a college soccer player until he decided to pursue the football route instead. A forward for Kaiser as a junior, Halvorsen scored 14 goals despite facing double teams often. One of his goals was a biggie — against Hilo in the first round of the state tournament earlier this spring.

It remains to be seen if Kaiser's Kyler Halvorsen can play his senior seasons in football and soccer due to COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Kit Halvorsen).

Kyler’s sister Kaile was the Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State player of the year in girls soccer in 2018 and is going into her junior season for the University of Santa Clara — whenever college sports resume.

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