A late kickoff didn't stop Desautels from lifting off

Broadneck: Taking up kicking as a freshman, Chris Desautels has made enough field goals in four years to make his mark on Anne Arundel County.

High Schools

September 26, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

It was the seventh game of the season in 2001 when a 6-foot-2, 150-pound freshman trotted onto the field at Glen Burnie High to kick extra points for Broadneck.

With the regular kicker away to attend his sister's wedding, Chris Desautels made his varsity debut and went 4-for-4 in extra-point attempts in the Bruins' 28-21 victory over the Gophers.

The following week, Desautels booted a 19-yard field goal that was the difference in the Bruins' 17-14 victory at Southern of Anne Arundel.

He had reporters scurrying around to find out who No. 41 was and how to spell and pronounce his name (Dess-ah-tells).

At the time, no one knew that a record-setting career was under way and that coach Jeff Herrick would say three years later, "Yes, I would have to say, he's the best we've had at Broadneck."

Desautels also has established himself as perhaps the best kicker in Anne Arundel County history. He set the county single-game record (three) and career record for field goals (18) in a 30-0 rout of Arundel on Sept. 20.

His 18th career field goal was the longest of his career (46 yards), 1 yard shy of the county and Bruins record of 47.

"They brought me up from JV for a tryout before the Glen Burnie game and I made my kicks and have been kicking ever since," said Desautels, who is 6-4, 180 pounds as a senior and last year was an All-Metro selection by The Sun.

On Friday night, Desautels bruised his right shoulder while making a tackle during No. 5 Broadneck's 48-0 victory over Meade. It was feared that he might have separated the shoulder, but X-rays yesterday were negative, and he's expected to play Friday at Annapolis.

Desautels had not kicked a football until ninth grade at Broadneck after playing soccer from kindergarten through seventh grade. In eighth grade, he took up football for the first time with the Cape St. Claire youth team, but didn't kick.

"One day during JV practice, I just started kicking because they didn't have anybody else, and I just pretended it was a soccer ball and kicked through it," Desautels said.

"I became the kicker in the third game and by the seventh game, I was kicking for the varsity. I didn't kick a field goal until the Southern game."

Tony Marino, who has guided the Bruins to a 16-1 record in his two years as starting quarterback and is Desautels' holder, can attest to his teammate's work ethic.

"We're best friends, and when I would call him during the summer, his parents would tell me he was up the field kicking," Marino said. "So, I would run up there to talk, throw to him or hold for him. He's really dedicated, and I hope he goes far."

Desautels planned to do that from the start.

"I set a goal my sophomore year to be All-County and by my junior year to be All-State and All-Metro," said Desautels, who reached his goals.

He set the bar higher this season.

"My first goal was the career record, and I want to be an All-American. I've got to keep moving up."

Some 20 Division I schools have contacted Desautels, but he has "had no serious looks or offers." His wants to play at the Division I level just like a previous Broadneck kicker, Brooks Barnard. "Chris is right there with Brooks," Herrick said.

Barnard was a kicker/punter for Broadneck from 1995 to 1997, setting most of the Bruins' and county kicking records before going on to punt at Maryland and briefly in the NFL.

Desautels, who also plays defensive back and is a three-sport athlete, is booting Barnard's name out of the Broadneck record book and credits Herrick for his development.

"I love him to death and so does the rest of the team," Desautels said. "Nobody messes with him. He's a strict leader who keeps us together. There is nobody I respect more."

And there is no kicker opponents fear more.

Desautels "can demoralize your defense," said Arundel coach Chuck Markiewicz. "He is a huge weapon for them. When we prepare [for opponents], we study special teams, but it's not foremost in our minds, except when we play Broadneck. It always is, because of him."

Desautels' records

Anne Arundel County kicking records set by Broadneck's Chris Desautels (2001-04):

Category Record Old record

Most field goals, 18* 17-Brooks Barnard, Broadneck, career 1995-97

Most field goals 11 9-Steve Oliver, Old Mill, 1991; season (2003) Mark Kiefer, St. Mary's, 1993

Most field goals, game 3 2-by several players

Most extra points, 101 93-Brooks Barnard, Broadneck, career 1995-97

*-State public school record is 19 by Linganore's Justin Brown (1993-95)

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