Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

November 1, 2013

Nick’s bag of tricks

Kingfisher doing it all for the Indians

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

He claims he doesn’t do everything for Sequoyah, and he’s right. Nick Kingfisher doesn’t throw passes or call plays, but he’s involved in nearly every other facet of the game for the Indians.

Through eight games this season, Kingfisher, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior, has run the ball, caught the ball, returned the ball and punted the ball.

But he still won’t admit to an all encompassing job.

“I don’t feel like I do completely everything,” he said, “because football is a team sport.”

Heading into his final varsity campaign, Kingfisher knew he’d have a more enhanced role for the Indians.

“During the summer, I was told by the coaches that I would be doing a bit of everything,” Kingfisher recalled. “So I worked and conditioned myself to a level that would allow me to do so.”

All the training paid off. Now Kingfisher rarely gets a moment to rest on Friday nights.

On offense, Kingfisher has served as Sequoyah’s secondary pass catcher. Caisen Green leads the Indians with 38 receptions, but Kingfisher is second with 16 for 334 yards and four touchdowns.

Kingfisher has also flashed some versatility by running the ball 10 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Kingfisher actually leads the Indians in yards per carry at 11.4.

“He just makes plays,” said Sequoyah head coach Shane Richardson, whose team will host Hilldale tonight at Thompson Field.

When Sequoyah’s offense stalls, Kingfisher’s number is called again. As a punter, Kingfisher has booted the ball 23 times with an average of 36 yards per attempt. He has all dropped six kicks inside opposing 20-yard lines.

From there, Kingfisher stays on the field to play defensive back. He has 17 tackles and three interceptions, including a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown against Beggs in Week 2.

Then, to cap off Kingfisher’s duties, he gets everything started for the Indians when their opponents kick off. He is Sequoyah’s leading kick returner with 235 yards on seven returns, including an 85-yard return for a touchdown last week against Jay. Kingfisher is averaging 33.6 yards a return, while Justin Hooper and Caisen Green — Sequoyah’s other options — are only posting around 15 yards a return.

While his prowess spans all three phases of the game for the Indians, Kingfisher said, given the choice, he’d play defense above all else.

“I would rather play on D,” Kingfisher said. “I know our offense can execute and make plays as a team. I like to be the tough defensive player. I’ve always liked defense.”

In fact, during practice Kingfisher tries to enhance his defensive skills, versus his ball carrying or punting traits.

“I think I’m at a good level of offense to where I can be effective,” Kingfisher said. “On D, I feel like there is a whole lot more to learn, and I should get better and better.”

Having Kingfisher at receiver on offense and as a kick returner on special teams is just Richardson’s way of getting the ball in Kingfisher’s hands that much more.

“We know what he is capable of,” Richardson said, “and we try to create ways to get the ball to him.”

Because of his versatility, Kingfisher would like to give college football a try in the coming years.

“I really hope that I can take football to the next level,” he said. “I want to at least go to a D2 college, as long as I get an education at the same time.”

Prep scores from Thursday

Cornerstone-Joplin, Mo. 36, Cookson Hills Christian 14

MacArthur 52, Capitol Hill 3

Rejoice Christian School 50, South Coffeyville 0

Tulsa East Central 28, Tahlequah 27

Westmoore 35, Tulsa Edison 7

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