Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Argyle kicker Cole Hedlund is a can't-miss prospect
Sophomore picking up where his brother left off as he nears record
ARGYLE — The kid who is one field goal away from setting a national record walks into the coaches’ office wearing a sweatshirt that does little to obscure his 5-9, 150-pound frame. His coach came into this season aware of the kicker’s pedigree and skill but wondering if he had the strength, the leg power.
“But obviously,” Argyle coach Todd Rodgers said, “Cole was much further along than I ever gave him credit for.”
Cole Hedlund, sophomore at Argyle High School, son of a former pro soccer player, practitioner of field goal kicking for less than two years, has already etched his name into history and could do it again. He has made a state-record 21 field goals, and 22 is the national record.
Hedlund. Making history. The only way the pairing would have made sense was if you just saw the last name and assumed it meant his brother, Chad.
Chad kicks for Wake Forest. He made 33 field goals the last three seasons for Argyle. And he had this little brother, Cole.
Cole watched as Chad quit soccer, despite being on the Under-14 national team, and started working on his field goal game under private instructor Scott Blanton. Cole wanted to try, too.
“Cole pretty much followed what Chad was doing,” said John Hedlund, their father and coach of the North Texas women’s soccer team.
In eighth grade, having quit club soccer, Cole started kicking extra points for his football team. That spring, he started taking lessons with Blanton.
Some of it was natural. Cole said he had range from 40 yards before getting any serious instruction. The rest has come since then. Cole used to kick field goals like he was kicking a soccer ball, worrying mainly about the power.
He has since learned the nuances. He has learned the proper way to kick, how to prepare mentally for the games. It has allowed him to become an accurate kicker; Cole has made 21 of 25 field goal attempts this season.
“He’s been money,” Rodgers said. “He’s been money every time we send him out there. He’s got a unique demeanor and a calmness, and just kind of an understanding of the game.”
One game did surprise Rodgers. In the third round of the playoffs, against Carthage, Hedlund missed two field goals, including one that would have ended the game in overtime. But the next morning, Cole was already watching film, figuring out that he had rushed his kick.
In the fourth round, against Gilmer, Cole made three field goals of 25 yards or longer, all coming in the decisive second half. He was back.
“I’m proud,” John Hedlund said. “That’s what I look at more than anything with both my boys: What do they do after they miss a field goal, and are they able to turn it around? I think you need to have that to play at the college level.”
But that’s for later. College, or even the national record, isn’t so much on Cole’s mind. He quickly dismisses much of the credit, assigning it to his snapper, Ryan Bowe, and holder, Chadd Bossow, and doesn’t worry about making another kick the rest of the year.
Argyle is two victories away from a state title. Cole would rather have two more of those than two more field goals.
“I would love for that to happen,” he said, referring to making a clutch kick, “but it would be nice if we could just beat them without me kicking a field goal. Whatever it takes.”
THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS
National career leaders for field goals in a season:
22, Jimmy Stevens (Oklahoma City, Okla., Heritage Hall), 2005
22, Chris Sailer (Sherman Oaks, Calif., Notre Dame), 1994
22, Philip Doyle (Birmingham, Ala., Huffman), 1985
21, Cole Hedlund, Argyle, 2011
21, Joe Tassone (Fort Lauderdale, Fla., St. Thomas Aquinas), 1997
21, James Wilhoit (Hendersonville, Tenn.), 2001
20, Connor Barth (Wilmington, N.C., Hoggard), 2003
20, Kevin Kerr (Cincinnati, Ohio, St. Xavier), 1998
20, Trey Mitchell (Radford, Va.), 2003
21, Cole Hedlund, Argyle, 2011
20, Hunter Lawrence, Boerne, 2004
19, Matt Szymanski, A&M Consolidated, 2005
19, Stephen Coker, Lufkin, 2001
19, Kyle Bryant, A&M Consolidated, 1992
19, Chris Sims, Garland, 1999