Former Picayune football player takes on specialist role at PRCC

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 30, 2020

Kyle Stockstill was torn between playing baseball and football as a child, but he grew to love the gridiron and used his talents to earn a spot on Pearl River Community College’s football team.

Playing football runs in the family for Stockstill since his father and grandfather both played.

Stockstill initially followed their path, which meant spending years playing for the PYAA football team as a youngster.

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However, over time the draw of baseball was too hard to deny and the multi-talented athlete decided to focus on getting work in with a glove and bat.

In a sudden switch up the year before middle school Stockstill started focusing on playing football again.

Part of the decision was the desire to play in middle school and high school, but also to spend more time with friends who were solely focused on football.

“I love sports and all of my buddies played football. I just wanted to play in middle school, so I figured I’d get back into it before I started in middle school,” Stockstill said.

In high school, the offensive line was where Stockstill spent the majority of his reps, but he wasn’t getting the playing time he wanted.

To get more minutes on the field he would need to find a way to make himself more valuable to the team, so he made a choice that allowed him to move on to the next level.

Stockstill decided to become a long snapper, which is a specialist role designated purely for punts, extra point attempts and field goals.

A long snapper is required to send the ball approximately 15 yards for punts and seven to eight yards on field goals and extra point attempts.

Stockstill saw the opportunity and went for it, which paid off in the end.

“It didn’t look like I’d play much my junior year and I wanted to get on the field. (The long snapper) was a senior and leaving, so I taught myself how to do it to get on the field,” Stockstill said.

Junior year Stockstill began his tenure as the Picayune Maroon Tide’s long snapper, but that ended after just one season.

Stockstill said he spent his senior year playing defense and didn’t take a single snap as a specialist.

When the season ended Stockstill couldn’t bear the thought of not playing football again, but without another year of tape as a long snapper to send to coaches, the college offers hadn’t been coming in.

Then the graduating senior heard PRCC was having a walk on try out.

“I talked to my dad and asked, ‘Should I go up there and do this?’ My dad said, ‘The worst they can tell you is no, you don’t lose anything.’ So I went to tryout,” Stockstill said.

The shot in the dark ended up working out with Stockstill impressing the coaching staff and was the team’s starting long snapper last season as a freshman.

Stockstill said the experience was all he could’ve asked for and that he’s ready to get back out on the field as soon as he can.

“It was awesome. I love my teammates and coaches. I’m ready to get back for next season,” Stockstill said.