Call him Mr. Clutch: Colton Stotts impressive through four games


By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

Pulling up to a Philo football practice gives onlookers the same kind of scene any fan would expect.

The offensive and defensive lines work on quick hands and hip placement, while the secondary and receivers run through drills to ensure fluidity on Friday nights. The quarterbacks stretch out their arms together, but one player is off on his own with a single coach for much of the time.

That player is Colton Stotts, a junior kicker. He works throughout practice with Matt McIntyre, the coach whose main job is to ensure plenty of solid kickoffs and field goals throughout the week for the Electrics.

A kicker practicing off a tee while the rest of the team works in tandem, offense learning from defense and vice versa, is nothing eye catching. What will lure in your gaze is the sound of Stotts’ leg connecting with the ball, like a power-punching boxer’s right hook to the jawline of an opponent.

He starts off nailing short distance kicks from 30 yards out, before consistently drilling 45-yard attempts. He even backs up to try a 50-yarder every now and again.

It’s quite the spectacle to see someone so small generate so much power. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 136 pounds, one has to wonder if those numbers come from him wearing cleats and pads.

Stotts was integral to Philo’s 15-13 win over John Glenn last Friday, converting a key 41-yard kick and two other field goals to give the Electrics a huge victory. But of all the players leaping for joy in the sideline and high fiving after the game, Stotts was lost in the fray.

That’s the kind of demeanor his coach talks about.

“Colton is a kid who, he’s just laser focused. That’s just … he’s just really mentally tough,” said Philo coach Dirk Lincicome. “He’s not a kid who wants any kid of glory or recognition. He just wants to show up and do his job every day.”

Prior to one of the bigger kicks of the night, which came with Philo chipping away at a 7-3 deficit, a 24-minute delay from a disagreement over ball placement after penalties kept the junior kicker pacing back and forth, waiting to finally be able to kick. Lincicome said the kind of mental toughness his kicker showed before he was finally able to step up and make the attempt was impressive.

“Icing the kicker is one thing, that is, like, he’s so frozen you could touch him and he’d shatter,” he said. “And he came out there and he freaking made that kick. I don’t know how. I have no idea how. Kickers are a different kind of people.”

While there are kickers who can drill longer kicks around the country, seeing a kicker so consistent in Muskingum County is a bit unusual. Called upon in big moments throughout the year, Stotts has converted nearly every time he’s been called upon.

Drive up to an Electrics practice sometime, and it’s obvious what all the fuss is about. Just don’t happen to park your car anywhere near the goal posts.