Overtime

Area punter/kicker ranks nationally in fencing

Column by Jim Benton
Posted 7/3/18

Matt Waid is a specialist. The senior-to-be will be the punter and place kicker for the Ponderosa football team this season and he is also a highly regarded fencer for the Fencing Academy of Denver. …

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Overtime

Area punter/kicker ranks nationally in fencing

Posted

Matt Waid is a specialist.

The senior-to-be will be the punter and place kicker for the Ponderosa football team this season and he is also a highly regarded fencer for the Fencing Academy of Denver.

Obviously kickers have been labeled as specialists for many years in football and fencing isn’t a sport with loads of athletes waiting to sign up.

Waid, the son of Parker Mayor Mike Waid, was the backup last season to Ponderosa’s Issac Power, who earned a scholarship to kick at Baylor.

He practiced and played a lot with the junior varsity but got into five varsity games. He averaged 58.7 yards on seven kickoffs with two touchbacks. He averaged 38 yards on two punts with one going out inside the 20-yard line and was 3-for-3 on extra point kicks.

“It was a little frustrating and it kind of always is when you’re not in the first spot,” admitted Waid. “But Issac is such an amazing punter and kicker and person. Kicking with Issac, I gained so much.

“Right now I’m working on consistency. I just want to be there consistently for the team. I just want to help out the team.”

Waid ran a 5K with his mother a few years ago and was given a brochure about fencing. He figured it would be “cool” to try fencing and has developed into a top-quality fencer with a saber.

There is so much movement in fencing that fitness is vital. Fencers must have good instincts to anticipate movements of opponents. Fencing has been called a physical chess and a mental game.

“I think I’m pretty good,” said Waid. “I’m nationally ranked. It is the thinking aspect of fencing that appeals to me. Especially at the higher levels, you really have to think about stuff and that is what separates you.

“I’m definitely not the fastest or smartest person but felt like I could test myself in both aspects.”

Waid could be heading to the Air Force Academy after graduation from Ponderosa, and if he becomes a Falcon then both aspects will again be tested.

New Ralston Valley coach

Jess Sponenberg, who was the head girls volleyball coach at Horizon between 2010-15, is the new volleyball coach at Ralston Valley.

She takes over for Debbie Erickson.

Sport physicals

There are two remaining offerings for sport physical examinations for all Douglas County student district high school athletes.

The first is from 8 a.m. until noon on July 28 at Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center, 1060 Plaza Drive, #200, Highlands Ranch.

To register go to www.trgrizzlies.org and then go to registrations and choose 2018 sports physical sign-up. All athletes must register.

The second event is from 8-10:30 a.m. on Aug. 4 at Ponderosa High School, 7007 E. Bayou Gulch Road, Parker.

To register go to www.signupgenius.com/go/5080d44a9a72fa75-ponderosa13.

For information all 720-233-3233.

Bound for Finland

Anna Hall, a senior-to-be at Valor Christian, has been named to the USA Track and Field U20 roster and will be on the team that will compete in the U20 World Championships in Tampere, Finland from July 10-15.

Hall will be competing in the heptathlon. She set a national high school heptathlon record at the Great Southwest Classic on June 1 with 5,798 points.

At the Class 4A state track meet in May, Hall won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and the long jump. She set a state class record of 40.76 in the 300 hurdles. She was the Colorado Gatorade girls track Athlete of the Year.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

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