Last Updated: Fri Oct 07, 2022 - 1:00AM
It’s not unusual to see the kicker on a high school football team also suit up during the week for their school’s soccer team. For Norwin senior Joey Castle, he’s completely left the pitch and has found a new home on the gridiron.
The former soccer player turned standout kicker recently made his commitment to continue his football career at the University of Akron.
“I’ve been talking to Coach (Joe Moorhead) for a couple months and visiting there, meeting the coach; he’s a great coach,” Castle mentioned of what drew him to Akron. “We’ve built a great relationship, and I love the university and I love everything about it.”
Before his days of kicking field goals, Castle was scoring goals and racing past defenders on the soccer field. Football was never on his radar, until a group of friends convinced him to come out and play for the football team at Norwin.
“I enjoyed the thrill of being in the games and I started to pick it up and like it a lot more,” Castle noted on his new-found love of football. “I decided to put away soccer and focus on football, and it became my true passion.
“It was a really big decision,” said Castle. “I was torn for months. I wasn’t sure what to do. The right decision was football.”
When it came down to technique, Castle had to relearn how to kick, except this time it was for a field goal and not a penalty kick. He had to make some adjustments to get used to the new style of kicking.
“I had a very soccer swing originally, for field goals,” Castle commented. “It was a big difference for me. But after you do it, you take videos, you watch your technique, you change things as you do it, and you keep changing things from there.”
After countless hours of studying his swing on film and working on the craft, he has built himself into one of the top kickers in the WPIAL. Castle is eager to get to Akron next fall and start his career with the Zips, who are a part of the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference.
In the meantime, Castle and his team have a game to prepare for this week, as they play host to Franklin Regional on Friday night.
“I’m very excited for football and to have that experience,” said Castle on what he’s most anticipating next fall. “I’m also excited for my major, as I’ll be majoring in exercise science. It’s something that I’ve always enjoyed and have been interested in.”