Cut from the St. Xavier High School soccer team before the start of his sophomore year, Jeffrey Sexton was unsure about his future.
He’d played the sport most of his life, and many of his friends were soccer teammates.
“It was like, ‘Now what?’” Sexton said.
Three days later Sexton walked into the St. X football office and asked if he could be the team’s kicker. Now he’s one of the best in the state and has committed to play football at Princeton University.
“From that summer before my sophomore year, I couldn’t have imagined coming to where I am now,” Sexton said. “It’s unbelievable how things work out.”
Sexton has played a key role for the Tigers in his two seasons of varsity action and could be a factor Friday when St. X (4-1) faces rival Trinity (4-1) in their annual Catholic school showdown. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium.
After playing on the junior-varsity team as a sophomore, Sexton became the varsity kicker last year and made eight field goals and 35 of 37 point-after attempts on his way to earning honorable-mention All-State honors from The Courier Journal.
Through five games this season, Sexton is 18 of 19 on PATs and 4 of 7 on field-goal tries, including a career-long 47-yarder in a 23-0 victory over Central on Sept. 13. Sexton has converted 70 percent of his kickoffs into touchbacks.
The 6-foot Sexton said he weighed 135 pounds as a sophomore and now is up to 157 pounds.
“The thing that’s such a difference with him now compared to last year is he went through our winter program in the weight room … and he’s a lot stronger and his leg is a lot stronger,” Tigers coach Kevin Wallace said. “I think he has a big upside as a kicker. I think he can be an elite kind of guy as he goes on.”
Wallace admits he didn’t always feel that way about Sexton.