Los Angeles, CA–At 12 years old, Will Bettridge is already making waves in South Florida. He scored the game-winning extra point in Hotbed’s Middle School All-American game. His parents were in the stands to watch as well as his grandparents, who flew in from Georgia, to witness Bettridge receive Offensive MVP Honors.
“I just wanted to help out my team because I know they were trying really hard and I didn’t have much to do,” he says of making the kick. “That was what I needed to do and that was my job, so I had to do it.”
Bettridge is entering 7th grade at Gulliver Academy and is planning on staying at the Preparatory school for high school. His favorite NFL kicker is Adam Vinatieri and he has trained with former professional kickers Chris Husby and Brian Jackson at their local South Florida camps. He explains that the Husby camp helped him with his approach.
“Before I kick I did some weird thing,” he says… “He said that takes too much time off. So he taught me a different way to do it and I think that way is easier.”
At Gulliver, Bettridge’s favorite subject is math. He plays football for the school team and for Pop Warner’s Palmetto Bay Broncos and plays baseball as well. He played soccer since he was four years old, but made the transition to the gridiron three years ago when his football coach asked him if he’d like to try being a kicker and he accepted the challenge.
Bettridge’s Pop Warner coach has helped him learn how to balance school and sports.
“He always makes sure you do your schoolwork before you come to practice,” he says. “So it’s tough some days, but I get through it.”
Bettridge is expecting to compete at the National Middle School Specialist Showcase at St. Thomas Aquinas this weekend. In speaking to Football Hotbed, he expressed his excitement over the opportunity to train with similar athletes.
“I don’t really see other kickers that are my age, so I think it’ll be cool to see how I rank up against other kickers my age,” Bettridge adds.
As a 2015 Middle School All-American, Bettridge will enter this weekend’s showcase in an effort to earn All-American honors for the second consecutive year.
-Victoria Hernadez, A Football Hotbed Contributor