BY JEFF FALK
ANNVILLE – Is Mac Plummer a soccer player playing football? Or is he a football player playing soccer?
While it may be that only time will tell, it could come down to which one the Annville-Cleona junior gets the most kicks out of. Either way, it’s nice to have options.
Plummer is a proficient and prolific kicker for both the Little Dutchmen boys’ soccer and football teams. Not only does whatever Plummer boot go far, it also goes straight.
Two weeks ago, during the first quarter of Annville-Cleona football team’s season opener against Milton Hershey, Plummer drilled a 51-yard field goal. Not only did that represent a Lebanon County and Lancaster-Lebanon League record, it was one of the longest field goals in the history of District Three.
But that’s just the beginning. Plummer has also been one of the main cogs in the Little Dutchmen’s 3-0 start to the boys’ soccer season.
“I get that question a lot,” said Plummer. “It’s a tough choice. Soccer is something I’ve been doing my whole life. I just picked up football a year ago, but it’s a big enjoyment. It’s just a really hard decision for me to make.
“I don’t know,” continued Plummer. “I love both. I’ve got to see what happens and how I do in both this year. I haven’t put that much thought into it yet.”
“I love watching him play soccer,” said Annville-Cleona football coach Matt Gingrich. “In 50 states, they play soccer, and he is a good soccer player. But there are very few kids who can kick a football the way he does. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t end up playing football in college. The goal is to have a choice. You’ll put yourself in a better position if you do.”
Not unlike a lot of soccer players turned football kickers, Plummer grew up playing the former. Through the coaxing of Gingrich, Plummer’s been kicking pigskins since the beginning of last season.
What’s surprising is how far Plummer’s come in such a short period of time. He’s improved his place kicking, kicking off and now punting by learning technique, applying it and by becoming stronger.
“I’ve always played soccer. My friends play it,” said Plummer. “Usually, he (Gingrich) likes to pick out some soccer player to do the kicking. He came up to me during my sophomore year and asked me, ‘Would you like to kick some after school today?’. I couldn’t kick a ball worth a darn that day, but I’ve been going to (place kicking) camps and I’ve gotten better.
“They’re both a big passion of mine,” added Plummer. “Coach Gingrich brought me out my sophomore year and it was one of the biggest opportunities I’ve ever gotten. It’s hard to imagine my life without both.”
“Last year, he was a 60 percent kicker on a kicking scale. This year’s he’s at 90 percent,” said Gingrich. “He’s improved that much. The biggest thing with him is his confidence. It’s greater than it was last year. In August of last year, he had never kicked a football before. When he kicks a football, it’s just a different sound.”