CAMAS, Wash. (KOIN) — The Camas Papermakers don’t want to put Bryce Leighton on the football field. He totally understands.
The senior is a punter and kicker for Camas, a former soccer player who found a natural fit when he tried out for his 8th-grade football team.
“I think it’s just fun because, one, I’ve played soccer all my life,” Leighton told KOIN 6 News. “I’ve always been able to kick far so I think it’s just fun getting on the field and just booting the ball and helping out your team and all that. So I think that’s fun.”
Camas Head Coach Jon Eagle said they tell him, “We really don’t want to use you, but if we need to it’s nice to have that guy in your back pocket who can really boom it out there.”
Leighton does it all for Camas but he’s gone to camps around the country for punting. That experience has given him confidence he can kick at a high level.
“In games you don’t want to be worried about whether you’re good enough or not or whether you’re going to miss or not. You just want to be confident in everything you do. So I think going to these camps and being able to compete at a high level has just given me the confidence to be better in games and in pressure situations.”
That skill and confidence has turned heads at the next level. Leighton has earned a spot in the Under Armor All American Game in January. He’s currently the 2nd-best punter in the country and he has a chance to kick for Montana State next season.
But before all of that, he and his Camas teammmates have unfinished business in Class 4A.
“You know people’s success a lot of times, but you don’t really see the work they’ve been putting in,” he said.
“The 2020 class of seniors, we’ve been talking about it since we were freshmen. We just have this super good group and that includes all the younger guys, too, but we’ve just been talking about how since we were freshmen our goal is to win state because we do have the talent to do it. And we’ve been working really hard. You know, we’ve been zero period before school. We’re lifting weights, we’ve been working every day so I think all of our preparation is going to lead us to our goal.”
Bryce Leighton is the KOIN Athlete of the Week for October 11, 2019.