Potter Never Settles

With no time left in the first half of the game against Ridgeview and the ball at the 42-yard line, the South Pointe offensive coaches decided to go for a 49-yard field goal. As kicker BT Potter jogged into the field, he knew if he made it not only would he help extend the lead, but it would also mean breaking his personal record in a game and the school’s record.

Already feeling that pressure added to the fact that everyone in the stadium was focusing on his every move, Potter placed his foot where he wanted the ball and took three steps back and two to the side. He was ready. Once his teammate set the 7-yard snap, Potter just drove the ball through, like a sledgehammer knocking down the field goal.

“We have one of the best kickers in the country,” said offensive coordinator Jason McManus.

Like many other kickers, Potter started off playing soccer. Beginning at the early age of five, he dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player; in fact, growing up, he wanted to go to rival school Northwestern because of their soccer program.

However, in eighth grade, Potter started as a kicker because of a friend that started kicking. He wanted to prove to his friend that he could be a better kicker. He then fell in love with football and his goals in life changed drastically.

On what made him take football all the way, Potter said, “I went to camp. Coach told me that I was good enough to play in a good college and decided I could make it further in football than in soccer.”

From that moment on, he began working hard towards his goal of playing football in college. Both Clemson and Carolina had coaches on the sidelines to watch in at the Mallard Creek win.

Potter’s ultimate goal is to reach the NFL.

Two Gamecock kickers inspire him—York’s Spencer Lanning, who did make it to the NFL, and Landon Ard, a Stallion kicker who paved the way to the college level. Potter works harder every day to reach their level, or possibly be better than them one day.

However, all of his inspiration doesn’t just come from his two role models, but from his faith in God. His motto is James 4:10: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

Throughout his sports career, Potter’s number one supporter has always been his mom. Whether it is football, soccer, or church basketball, she is always in the stands cheering for her son’s team at every game, home or away. Potter says that she is the most influential person in his life in every way possible.

But a lot of his motivation is internal. “My first love was competition,” Potter said. This has always motivated him to be better than other athletes around him, which prompted South Pointe coaches to put him on varsity as a ninth grader. He helped the Stallions win a state championship that year.

For Potter, though, he needed more. He wanted to learn more about kicking than he had that first year of high school.

The summer before sophomore year, Potter started going to football camps that helped him to improve his technique. He got better and better as the season advanced, even scoring the game-winning field goal against Union that set the Stallions up to win Regions last year.

Potter continued going to these camps through this past summer, which helped him improve from a merely good kicker to an elite level kicker.

In fact, Chris Sailor Kicking ranked Potter number 12 in the nation.

Potter arrived at school this year very tan, a result of a hard work outside. Unlike other people his age who see summer as a time to relax or to make money, Potter spends most of his vacation training.

The time under a hot steaming sun is paying off. This season had already been full of accomplishments for South Pointe’s kicker as SPiN went to press. As the regular season came to a close, Potter made 25 out of 29 PAT attempts, with a better 8/10 field goals made. One of his biggest achievements was winning the Player of the Week after the win against nationally ranked Mallard Creek, in which he set a personal record of 55 yards in a punt.

Like all of his teammates, Potter has been working towards that common goal of a third consecutive state championship.

In the first region game of this year’s current season, Potter broke the school’s record for longest field goal that was previously held by Ard at 46 yards. With no time left on the clock before halftime against Ridgeview, the Stallions went for a field goal to increase their lead. BT showed the student body once again what he is capable of, hitting the field goal and setting both a school and personal record.

BT wants to be remembered as an inspiration for younger generations just as Ard and Lanning are to him.

Click on the link below to see Potter’s kicking experience so far:

By Diego Rodriguez, contributor and video by TJ Hill, reporter