Even though he always wanted to be a place kicker, it was impossible for DeMatha senior Patrick Fisher to attend summer kicking camps. Fisher's caveat was that he had to be a straight-ahead kicker, and his family feared coaches would try to convert him to the more popular soccer-style kicking method if he went to the camps.
So his offseason workouts composed of taking a tee and ball and going to the stadium at Georgetown Prep, near his family's home in Kensington. His younger brother or cousin or grandfather or mother or father would show up later and help him retrieve balls.
"We knew he'd be over there kicking every night," said Mary Fisher, Patrick's mother. "It was the type of thing where once we'd come home from work or a meeting, we'd go straight over there and help him fetch the balls. We've all put our time in with him."
The work has paid off. Fisher is a three-year starting kicker for the Stags (7-2) and made a 36-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in a 13-11 victory over Good Counsel in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals last Monday night.
At 6 feet 5, 240 pounds, Fisher tried other positions, but has always loved kicking most. He has received good coaching even without the summer camps. Former Redskins straight-ahead kicker Mark Moseley has worked with Fisher for the past three summers and attended the Stags' 37-0 victory over O'Connell on Sept. 21.
Fisher wears a special shoe on his right (kicking) foot similar to the type Moseley wore. For punting, however, Fisher wears a regular shoe. He said he changes shoes an average of 25 times per game, including 34 times in the victory over Good Counsel.
Fisher has attended DeMatha games since he was a child because his uncle is Stags Coach Bill McGregor. It took one junior varsity practice in 2000 for McGregor to realize that Fisher would do better on the field than as a spectator.
A few DeMatha varsity players were watching the JV tryouts and alerted McGregor that the kicker was doing well, but they didn't know his name. McGregor watched a few kicks, then asked the still-unknown kicker to join the varsity practice.
"I went up to the varsity field, and Coach McGregor didn't know it was me until I took my helmet off for stretching and turned around," Fisher said. "I think he was pretty surprised."
-- Christian Swezey