The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Athlete of the Issue: Dan Giannascoli ‘15

Dan Giannascoli
Dan Giannascoli
Dan Giannascoli

Giannascoli is kicking his way to the top

At the end of last year, Dan Giannascoli did not expect to be kicking for the Friars this fall, but as we interview him, he explains his wild ride from a soccer player to a starting kicker.

A successful football team is only as good as its kicker. With an effective kicker, teams can rely on them to either sail a game winning field goal through the uprights or even bomb a kickoff through the end zone for a touchback. Last year, Malvern had to bid farewell to that type of kicker – John Dolfus.

Giannascoli saw this vacancy as an opportunity.

“I decided to go out for football in the spring at an open tryout when the team was in need of a new kicker, because last year’s kicker graduated,” said Giannascoli. “I wasn’t set on playing then, but as the season approached I became more committed to play in the fall.

“My incentive to play football has always existed,” he said. “I have wanted to know if I could kick a football since I was a little. I knew I had a big foot in soccer, and was always eager to try kicking a football.”

How does Giannascoli feel about his kicking game so far? “I would say that it is going pretty well. We are still early in the season, but I hope to have a good season in store with some solid numbers to back it up.”

“My kicking ratio for PAT’s have been 8/11, while I am 1/2 in field goal attempts. I have a total of 11 points this season,” he said.

Being a kicker involves tons of stress, and it takes nerves to play the position. But Giannascoli is unfazed by the pressure. “My position is hard only if you make it hard,” he said. “In kicking it’s all about mentality. A kicker has to be calm and focused on every kick. Every kick has to be the same and if you let the pressure get to you, you won’t succeed. Of course, you need some kicking skills too.”

Giannascoli credits the influence of the coaching staff with much of his success this year.

“The coaching staff has helped me tremendously throughout my weeks playing football,” he said. “I am lucky enough to have two kicking coaches that help me with my mechanics, my motions or even my mentality. Without them, I would be just a beginner on my own with no guidance.”

During the games, Giannascoli has shined. Perhaps his biggest moment took place during the recent game against St. Mary’s on September 12. With the score tied at 13-13, and only minutes left, Giannascoli booted a 32 yard field goal in between the uprights to give the Friars a 16-13 lead. They held on for the win.

“It was definitely my biggest highlight. Not only did it give us the win, but it was also my longest field goal,” he said.

Like many Friars, Giannascoli hopes to win and repeat the football title as Inter-Ac champs.

Giannascoli is happy with his decision to join the team this year. “I am very glad I played football, every week it is a new challenge, suiting for the games has become an amazing experience that I want to continue. It is really a new environment for me, but the more I get used to it, the more I can’t wait to get out onto the field and play for Malvern week after week.”

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