While the majority of the Saint Francis football team is in the locker room preparing for practice, senior place-kicker Emerson Ueber is already hard at work.
Ueber, long snapper Sean Alford and holder Kollin Carman get the majority of their time in prior to the offensive and defensive units of the Cougars hitting the field for practice.
The trio has been together for two seasons, and the dividends are showing.
Entering Saturday's game against Concordia University at home, Ueber has connected on seven consecutive field goals and 7 of 8 overall.
He was also named MSFA Mideast Special Teams Player of the Week following his 13-point performance against St. Francis (Ill.) two weeks ago, the first time a Cougars kicker has won the award.
Ueber, a Bishop Dwenger product, is also the only Cougars kicker in history to make three field goals in a game on two separate occasions.
“This is my last go-around, I am done after this,” said Ueber, who is in his final season. “I just want to make the most of my year. It is not just me, we have had great snapping and holding, that's really working well.”
The key to any success on the football field is continuity, but nowhere is it more important than kicking. The timing involved from the snap of the football to the hold to the kick is paramount to success, something Ueber, Alford and Carman have developed.
“You definitely want to have good relationships with those guys,” Ueber said. “Timing is definitely big. The number to shoot for is 1.3 seconds (from snap to kick) and we have been under that all year.”
Ueber has been a big part of the 5-2 start for the Cougars, which has them ranked No. 10 entering today after a loss to unranked Robert Morris University last week. His accuracy on kicks so far this year has given Saint Francis a reliable option on fourth downs in opponents' territory.
“Saint Francis isn't typically known as a field-goal kicking team, but the biggest thing for this year was my consistency,” Ueber said. “I worked out with winter weights in getting my leg strong and that has helped this year.”
While Ueber gets the weekly awards and the stats when converting field goals and extra points, he knows he has two other guys to thank.
“(Alford, Carman and I) have a good relationship, they help me do my job,” Ueber said.