by Nicholas Humble
November 16, 2009 – Standing 6’4” and weighing 195 pounds, Stephen Whisnant, a punter for Christian Life Academy, holds the Louisiana State 1A record for the longest punt at 71 yards.
He got into football because of his soccer talents. “I was always a dominant soccer player, and last year was my first year playing football,” Whisnant said. “I made a Louisiana state record punt in 1A, and I made All-State my first year playing football.”
Lack of experience in football has not taken away from his talent level. “I played in middle school and didn’t think this sport was for me,” Whisnant said. Then he played last year, and his team made it to the state championship but lost.
As a punter, his individual stats through nine games this year are exceptionally good. “I’ve punted the ball this year 39 times for an average of about 41.2 yards with an average hang time around 4.8 seconds.”
Whisnant has already reached most of his goals for the 2009 season and is now focusing on keeping up his statistics and grades. “As of right now, it has been a great season for me punting wise; my goals have pretty much been set.”Even with his amazing talents, Whisnant has not committed to any school yet, but he has a few in mind. “I’ve narrowed it down to three that I want to go to,” Whisnant said. “The top right now are ULL, Alabama and Oklahoma.”
Whisnant enjoys the game of football because of the passion everyone has for the sport. “The whole United States shuts down for football, and the whole city of Baton Rouge revolves around LSU football. It’s an awesome thing to be a part of,” Whisnant said. “It’s a sport that involves high dedication.”
His favorite stadium to play in is his home stadium. “It’s where I practice everyday, and it’s where I have all my records and longest punts.”
His greatest achievement came against a team last year that made one of his plays the top play of the game and helped his team get to the playoffs and eventually the state championship. “Like the 71-yard punt I hit last year against a team. I hit it down to their 3-yard line, and they drove the ball down to their 30 or 40-yard line. The clock ran out, and it was known as the game changing performance. It helped our team get to the playoffs.”
He looks up to his brother and grandfather and what they have accomplished. “I look up to my brother, Richard Whisnant, and my grandfather. They never played football before, but they are the definition of hard work to me in everything they do.”
Whisnant’s best quality is his positive attitude as one can tell by his nickname, “Sunshine.” “I have a good personality, and I am an overall positive guy no matter what the situation is.”
His hard work and skill as a punter would be extremely beneficial to any team. “I usually give my team a good field advantage. Last game, I punted the ball twice on the two-yard line.”
Even though Whisnant can kick the ball 71 yards, if he needs to kick it short and place it in a certain area, he can do that as well. “If I try to kick a 35-yard punt or try to get it on the two-yard line, I just hit it a lot lighter or a lot higher.” With his skill level and extraordinary ability to punt the ball so far, the sky is the limit for this great punter.