Bainbridge kicker celebrates record

Published 10:22 am Monday, October 28, 2013

Daniel Provence has been kicking a ball since he was 2-years-old. For most of that time, it was a soccer ball. But after setting the record for career field goals kicked last Friday night against Hardaway, Provence is having trouble deciding which sport he loves more.

“I just had to take it in the other night,” Provence said about kicking his 18th field goal as the Bearcat’s kicker, snagging the record from former kicker Keenan Adams. “I just stood in the field by myself for a little bit, soaking it in.

Provence’s soccer playing caught the eye of former Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher, who called on him to be the junior varsity kicker. When Adams injured himself during that season’s game against Cairo, Provence was thrust onto the stage.

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“I didn’t really have time to be scared,” Provence said. “All of a sudden I’m pulled up to be the starter. I guess I kind of got all of my nervousness out then. Ever since, I’ve just been really calm about (kicking).”

After Adams taught him almost everything he knew, kicking a football has come naturally to him, Provence said. He’s comfortable in the position, proud of his consistency and accuracy, which also earned him a record in kicking extra points.

Provence’s dad, Dan, has seen him grow as a kicker since coaching him soccer in his youth. Dan still serves as an assistant coach to the Bearcats soccer team and works with Provence closely.

“He’s strong minded and has a lot of confidence,” Dan said. “He’s always been a dedicated athlete. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it an I’m proud of how hard he’s worked.”

When Provence set the record last Friday night, Dan congratulated and hugged his son for a few minutes, knowing the amount of time and effort he had put in to get this far.

His mother, Bonnie, remembers all the hours and money spent driving to soccer practice and tournaments over the years, from as near as Thomasville to as far as Atlanta. Seeing how far it has brought her son, she wouldn’t take any of it back.

“We’ve made such wonderful memories,” Bonnie said. “I think it’s awesome. He’s really enjoyed giving it all he’s got.”

Provence is waiting to see if he can receive a scholarship to kick footballs or play soccer in college. He’s split 50-50 between the two and looks forward to playing either one.

“To be able to come to this point in my career now is unbelievable, really,” Provence said. He hopes to stay consistent and continue to make field goals for the last two games of the regular season. “I want to make it where nobody can catch me.”

Though soccer season is just over the horizon, Provence is keeping his head down and foot swinging to set another Bainbridge kicking record.

“I’ve got one more to go,” he said. “I’ve got to break the distance record. It’s 52-yards. We were practicing 50-yarders yesterday and I was making them, so I’m hoping it’ll be soon.”