Playing just for kicks garners state honor

Crystal River kicker Cody Shaffer tried out for football on a lark, and now he's on the Class 3A all-state team.

Published January 20, 2006

Cody Shaffer took the news with a laugh.

Despite making just three field goals all season, the Florida Sports Writers Association named Shaffer the second-team Class 3A all-state kicker.

The award surprised the Crystal River senior, who played just one season. He tried out for fun and never took the sport too seriously. Most practices he would show up without a shirt while teammates wore shoulder pads.

"I was just kind of helping out the football team," he said. "I didn't even like football. I went out to practice for 15 minutes, kicked a few balls and left."

Soccer remains Shaffer's first love, and he still hopes to play goalie at Central Florida.

Football coach Craig Frederick, who was let go earlier this month, said Shaffer showcased his natural ability despite few chances.

"He could have been a great weapon," Frederick said. "We didn't give him the opportunity to show what he could do."

No county athletes were picked to the first team.

Citrus lineman Patrick Kruis, who had 80 tackles and 12 sacks, made the third-team defense.

Hurricanes freshman running back Antoin Scriven, who totaled 1,700 yards of offense and scored 18 touchdowns, was honorable mention.