In case you football fans haven’t noticed this area is blessed with some great kicking talent as evidenced by the fabulous seasons being put together by Pat Smith at Western Illinois University and Mat Sims at Northern Illinois University.  Pat is from Quincy and Mat is from Hannibal. 

Both of these young men are juniors so they will have the rest of this season and next to showcase their talents which they have plenty of. Pat, the son of Bryan and Donna Smith and a graduate of Quincy Notre Dame High School, was Western’s 2011 Special Team’s Player of the Year and he may well be it again this year. So far Pat has made 10 field goals without a miss and is also 10 out of 10 in extra points for the Leathernecks. He has 40 of Western’s 100 total points score this season.

Matt, playing on a much more offensive minded team, has put up some great numbers this season again. He has 82 of Northern Illinois’ 406 total points scored this season. He has made 10 of 13 field goals and has converted 52 of 53 extra point attempts for the Huskies. Matt, the son of Bob and Lynne Sims, is a graduate of Hannibal High School. Mat was the 2011 MAC All Conference kicker and won the All-conference Specialist of the Week honors for the second time this season after getting 17 points in a game against Akron which included field goals of 49 and 54 yards. The 54 yarder broke the school record by two yards.

You can see both of these young men as they have games this weekend with Western Illinois University hosting Youngstown State at Hanson Field at 1pm and Northern Illinois hosting Toledo on Wednesday night at 8pm. The Western game can be seen on ESPN 3 and the Northern game on ESPN 2.