"That kicker of yours has a future," said

By David Carducci Record-Courier staff writer Published:

"That kicker of yours has a future," said Corlew.

That kicker is Travis Mayle.

"Almost everybody we play comments about Travis, his incredible distance, and how he's got a great future ahead of him," said Hannan. "It's fun to hear."

It's also fun to watch.

You don't see many high school juniors who are capable of consistently booming field goals from longer than 50 yards.

But then, there are not many high school juniors like Mayle.

You can tell that by the way he handles his exhausting schedule.

Like all high school football players, he wakes up for school around 6:30 a.m., attends classes from 7:40 a.m. to 2:35 p.m, then leaves straight for football practice until 5:30 p.m.

Like other high school football players, he plays several different positions on the football team, serving as a kicker, a starting safety, a key reserve running back, and a punt and kick returner.

That's where the similarities with other football players end.

Unlike his teammates up until two weeks ago, Mayle didn't head home for dinner when football practice ended. He remained at Crestwood's Jack Lambert Stadium until after 8 p.m., more than 12 hours after his day began.

Mayle stayed behind for soccer practice. He was one of the top players on Crestwood's soccer team, leading the Red Devils with 11 assists and ranking third on the team with nine goals from his forward position.

Wait, that's not all. Once he finally returns home, he finds time to study, maintaining a 3.2 grade-point average.

"It's pretty remarkable," said Hannan. "There aren't many kids who can handle a schedule like his."

Not only does he handle his schedule, juggling football, soccer and school work, he excels in each area. He also does it in every season, playing shooting guard for Crestwood's basketball team in the winter and shortstop for the baseball team in the spring.

His hard work and success is a source of great pride for his parents, Roger and Louetta Mayle.

"It is just a pleasure to see Travis play and do the things that he loves," said Roger Mayle. "We are very proud of him. The thing we are most proud of is that he is a very good kid. He is very likable, honest and friendly.

"Every once in a while I get concerned (he may be doing too much). I start to wonder 'how can he do all of it?' But he's stuck with it. Whenever I ask if it's too much, he says 'no dad, I can handle it.'"

That kind of determination is a big reason why Mayle may live up to his opponents' predictions that he has a future as a kicker.

"If I could have one dream come true it would be to kick for the Cleveland Browns some day," said Mayle. "I'd love to wear the brown and orange and play for the hometown team."

The first step in that goal is "to play major college football," and even though he is a junior, Mayle has already received early feelers from Ohio State University and some Mid-American Conference teams.

"I haven't thought about it too much yet, but it would be nice to kick for Ohio State," said Mayle. "That was something I've dreamed about since I was a little kid."

Dreams of college are a year away, however, and for now there are plenty of other dreams for Mayle to focus on.

First and foremost was to help Crestwood reach the state football playoffs.

While he stresses team goals, Mayle also has some individual goals he would like to accomplish before he leaves Crestwood _ among them, setting the state record with a field goal of more than 60 yards.

"I would like to do that," said Mayle. "It would be exciting to get that chance."

Hannan said if the opportunity arises, he has no fear that Mayle could one day break the 60-yard record.

"I wouldn't hesitate to let him try," said Hannan. "I have a lot of confidence in Travis. The whole team does. He's already kicked four field goals from over 50 yards (long 53) ... and he's kicked one from 61 yards in practice. He just has an incredible leg. I don't know how he does it. He gets banged up (as a running back and a safety) in football, and he gets banged up from slide tackles in soccer. He's just a great natural athlete."

As a kicker this season Mayle has booted 9-of-13 field goals, 41 extra points, and 16 touchbacks on kickoffs.

As a safety, he's intercepted four passes, including one for a touchdown.

As the first running back off the bench, he's carried the ball 25 times for an average of 7.7 yards per carry.

He has also scored touchdowns as a kick and punt returner.

Next year he will play an even larger role on the football team, starting at either quarterback or running back.

"Personally, I'd rather play quarterback," said Mayle. "That's just because I've done that ever since I was little. This year is really only the first year I've played running back. I'm more comfortable at quarterback. I like to distribute the ball to my teammates, and I think I'm better at running on bootlegs rather than on dives, but I'll do whatever I can to help the team."

The expanded role on the football team has Mayle considering focusing on just one sport next season.

"I haven't decided yet, but right now I'm leaning towards just playing

football," said Mayle. "If I play both football and soccer next year, it

will be a lot harder. I think I might focus on football because I might

have a future there."

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