St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Gramatica goes out with a huge bang

The placekicker nails a 63-yarder in his final game as a Bull.

By SHARON GINN

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000


TAMPA -- Bill Gramatica's big appearance on ESPN's College GameDay has been pushed back week after week, from late October to Nov. 11 to Saturday and finally, tentatively, to Dec. 2. More than a month ago the network filmed a piece on the South Florida senior kicker, his brother Martin and the rest of the family.

Could it be that ESPN needed something to kick it up a notch?

If so, the network got it Saturday, when Gramatica booted a record 63-yard field goal. On the field where Martin has kicked game-winners for the Bucs, Bill made his mark on the history books.

Gramatica's kick ranks as the second longest without a tee in all of Division I, just behind the 65-yarder Martin kicked as a senior at Kansas State two years ago. The field goal also is the longest without a tee in Division I-AA history, tying him with Arkansas State's Scott Roper and Tim Foley of Georgia Southern, who both kicked 63-yarders on Nov. 7, 1987.

True to form, Gramatica's celebration matched the moment.

Always effusive, he went wild after the kick, jumping up and down, sliding like a baseball player, rolling on the grass, retrieving his left shoe from holder Kevin Patullo and kissing the shoe -- he's left-footed -- before hugging everyone in sight.

But he wasn't alone. Even the officials looked downright triumphant as they signaled the field goal good.

"This was one of the most emotional games I've ever played," Gramatica said. "For coach (Jim) Leavitt to give me the opportunity, it just shows what kind of person he is. ... As soon as I kicked it (quarterback) Marquel (Blackwell) came running out from the sidelines. After that it was the whole team, just hugging me."

He said he was especially thankful to senior long snapper Ryan Benjamin, who made every snap for Gramatica and has always "treated me like a brother," he said.

Real brother Martin was in Chicago with the Bucs, but Bill's mother, usually too nervous to watch, attended for only the second time. His father and younger brother, Santiago, who will kick for the Bulls next season, also were there.

Gramatica and Leavitt had talked about attempting such a long kick. At Connecticut with a strong wind at his back he lined up for a 62-yarder but was foiled by a delay of game penalty.

Gramatica, a I-AA All-American in 1998, hopes the kick helps him follow Martin to the NFL.

"I know kickers don't get drafted as much," he said. "But my goal is to get a shot. I'd like to get drafted, but if it doesn't happen, it won't discourage me one bit."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Gary Shelton
  • Legendary
  • Random thoughts

  • Hubert Mizell
  • FSU best; UM gets this vote

  • Bucs
  • Anthony on the rebound
  • NFL game day: week 12
  • Bucs can put their cold streak on ice
  • NFL briefs
  • Buccaneers best and worst: game 11
  • Bucs chat
  • 'I'm just one of the lucky ones'
  • Buccaneers by the numbers
  • Buccaneers quick hits
  • Analysis: Sean Salisbury (ESPN)
  • Bears not laughing vs. Bucs
  • Johnson faces tough return for Bills

  • College football
  • FSU unstoppable
  • USF seniors finish the way they began
  • FSU is turning the series tide
  • From Orangemen to Orange Bowl?
  • College football this week on TV
  • College football briefs
  • Fine game; you had to be there
  • Troutman is nearly enough
  • Nunnally, others catch NFL scouts' eyes
  • FAMU survives classic Classic
  • USF sideliners
  • Bulls can see the (natural) light
  • Gramatica goes out with a huge bang
  • UF-FSU sideliners
  • Four years added to annual battle
  • FSU quotebook
  • UF quotebook
  • Minnis making most of senior season
  • With its running attack stifled, Florida offense falls flat again

  • Lightning
  • Players want just 1 thing from refs
  • Sens lose one of their top scorers
  • Slap shots
  • Still no doubt in Dallas about The Goal

  • Devil Rays
  • 'Q' may be facing last days as a Ray

  • Sports Etc.
  • Clubs: $200,000 Game: still stinks
  • 'Angels' accept great risks to protect boaters
  • Highs and lows
  • The week in sports
  • Sports briefs
  • Paterno a champ; Bowden?
  • Bears schedule
  • College basketball this week on TV
  • Raising Cain races off with the F1 title
  • Super Cats move to front of race scene
  • A perfect season in many ways
  • Second chance pays off
  • Women's basketball roundup
  • Sixers rule East partly on merit
  • Tampa wins Division II region volleyball title
  • Captain's corner
  • Tennis briefs
  • In 10K, the late shall finish first
  • Avoid chilling prospects
  • Gaffney starts day with top-20 finish
  • Jesuit proves too much for Hurricanes
  • Young Jaguars finish fourth
  • Top five propel Jesuit to 2A title
  • Hurricane wins after near miss
  • Warhawks finally get second
  • Hard work lifts Buc freshman
  • Keswick star wins her third state title
  • Youth served at state meet


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts