Kicker seeks improvement after impressive year


(Photo by Avery Gales)

Football wasn’t always important to Wilfrid Laurier kicker Ronnie Pfeffer.

Being born and raised in a soccer-oriented family, Pfeffer’s focus never really centralized around the game until he turned 17. But when it did, the Kitchener native fell into something that has become a big part of his life.

“When I was younger, [my parents] put me into soccer and I kept going with it,” Pfeffer said. “The coach of my high school [football] team was begging me to come out all the time so I finally accepted the offer and came out. And it took off from there.”

The second-year sociology student played for the Twin Cities Predators, finding his niche and moving towards developing the skills he needed to play at the next level, which landed him at Laurier.

“There were a lot of opportunities, I could have went to a lot of different schools, but when I came here for my recruiting it just felt like home,” Pfeffer said. “The players, everyone just welcomed me really well. It’s hard when you first come in as a rookie.”

A couple components helped Pfeffer choose to come to Laurier, such as current defensive backs coach, Jahmeeks Beckford, who was Pfeffer’s high school and recreational coach before he graduated.

In Pfeffer’s rookie year, he recorded 43 punts for 1,246 yards and made nine field goals on 11 attempts. He was named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) second team all-star for 2011.

A year later, Pfeffer only improved. After a faulty opening game against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Sept. 3, he finished the regular season with 72 punts for 2,499 yards and made 12 field goals on 17 attempts, placing fourth in the OUA.

“Sometimes you make some mistakes. I made a few mistakes this year, but stuff happens,” he said. “But going into next year I would like to accomplish another OUA all-star.”

Off the field, Pfeffer stressed the difficulty for athletes to balance academics with their athletic schedules.

“For football, just the practices are three hours a day plus if you need physio and if you have your team meetings and everything after,” he said. “It’s just harder towards school with football, but it gives you a great opportunity to meet a lot of people and get out there.”

Pfeffer also said living at home allows him to better balance his life.

“When I come here, I’m able to see my friends and talk to them and hang out, go have fun,” he said. “But at the same time I’m able to go home and when I go home it’s more of a ‘get my work done’ kind of thing, instead of just being here and getting distracted by the things around you or everyone wanting to go out.”

With high aspirations for his next two years, Pfeffer hopes to improve on what he’s already achieved and move towards his ultimate goal.

“But if you don’t, it’s more just having fun and playing the game.”

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