San Diego, CA (PRWEB) October 30, 2012
National Camp Series (NCS) Associate Lee McDonald of Special Teams Solutions has helped Anthony Starego, the starting kicker for the Brick High School Green Dragons, turn his dreams into reality.
That dream was clearly on display last Friday as Starego, with 15 seconds left in the game, kicked a 22-yard game winning field goal against rival New Jersey high school team Toms River North.
Kicking the game winning field goal with only 15 seconds left would be the highlight of any high school kicker’s career. But for Starego it is especially meaningful. He is autistic.
“Anthony is a great kid with a heart of gold,” says McDonald. “When he came to a camp a few years ago he was struggling to make extra points but his passion for kicking was evident. His enthusiasm proved contagious to those campers who watched him continue to kick despite the obvious challenges for a boy with autism.“
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Experts estimate that three to six children out of every 1,000 will have ASD. Males are four times more likely to have ASD than females.
“As I began to work with him, it was essential to keep things simple and to find key buzz words that Anthony could use as part of his pre-kick routine,” says McDonald.
“I can remember a workout we had this summer where he was struggling to stay "tall through the ball" as we like to say in kicking terms. I told him "lean back and swing up" and all of a sudden things clicked, he started hammering the ball. It was great moment. His father and I looked at each other and were speechless.”
McDonald, who with Charlie Titus, runs Special Teams Solutions, has a great deal of experience as a kicker, and he also knows the joy of kicking a ‘game winning’ field goal.
McDonald signed a full scholarship to Rutgers University from where he earned a B.A. and M.Ed.
The former Scarlet Knight is known for his 1999 game winning overtime field goal that upset the Syracuse Orangemen 24-21. McDonald also garnered Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice during his career and was twice named to the Big East Conference Academic Team.
McDonald then kicked for the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League and the Norfolk Nighthawks where he set several Arena 2 football kicking records including most field goals in one game (6) that earned him AF2 Player of the Week honors.
Kicking coach Michael Husted, who created the National Camp Series (NCS) after kicking in the NFL for 9 years, says having kicking coaches like McDonald attests to the quality of NCS Associates.
“NCS Associates are some of the best kicking coaches in the country,” says Husted. “NCS coaches provide the highest quality instruction to high school kicking specialists around the country.”
McDonald says he conducts kicking, punting and long-snapping camps throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, to help young kickers become the best kickers they can be.
However, McDonald says there is something special about working with Anthony Starego.
“To see him grow on and off the field over the last few years has been a very rewarding experience,” says McDonald. “It certainly gives you a different perspective on life by watching a young man work so hard to reach his goals no matter the challenges. Anthony is an inspiration and his story is moving to say the least.”
Go here for more about Lee McDonald and Special Teams Solutions.
Go here for more about the National Camp Series(NCS).
Go here for the NCS Kicking Coach Directory.