Senior place kicker Brandon Chiazza did not expect to be kicking field goals for the football team when he started his career at Malvern.
According to ‘Kohlskicking.com’ Brandon Chiazza is a solid kicker who ‘shows flashes of a powerful leg’ and a leg speed that ‘gives him a chance to do some very positive things as a specialist.’
Playing soccer until his junior year, Brandon Chiazza is on the cusp of playing college football.
“I’ve always played soccer my whole life, so that has been a huge part of me,” Chiazza said. “Over the years I started to get sick of soccer, and I wanted to look towards new activities.”
Over the last three years, there has been a trend of Malvern soccer players deciding to place kick for Malvern football – starting with Dan Giannaoscoli ’15 during the 2014-2015 season.
“When I came to Malvern, we had no kickers,” former Head Coach Aaron Brady said. “We actually had kicking tryouts open to anyone because we did not have any kickers. I think Brandon coming to kick for us started when he saw Dan’s success.”
Chiazza decided to join the team during his junior year, and he instantly had a connection with it.
“The transition from soccer to football was not too hard actually,” Chiazza said. “It helped by learning the kicking technique from my kicking coaches.”
Initially, he decided to play soccer and football, but ultimately had to make a decision of one sport over another.
“I quit soccer last year,” Brandon said. “I played football and soccer last season but it was way too hard, and I could not deal with that. I was more focused on football.”
Chiazza views that he made the right decision, and he has even spent his summer attending various kicking camps and visiting colleges. He is constantly working on his game.
“He had a good first year, and as the year went on, he had huge strides of improvement,” Brady said.
According to Chiazza, Malvern football has a special bond that he loves being a part of. He can be seen walking around the sidelines always with a smile, constantly stretching, and enjoying the moment.
“The brotherhood of football is a lot better than soccer,” Chiazza said. “You are in a fight every week to try to beat one team instead of playing two games in a week.”
One person that Chiazza interacted a lot with during the games, who personified the football and Malvern brotherhood, was his holder, senior Mike Fay. “Brandon was an awesome kicker who was really reliable,” Fay said.“Being his holder, we built a strong relationship and because of that I was able to see the determination and focus that he has for the game of football as a kicker,” Fay said.
Becoming the kicker was an accomplishment within itself, but Chiazza had no idea what this would snowball into. His inclusion on the team improved the morale and atmosphere.
“Chiazza was a great addition to the team when he came Junior year,” senior teammate Justin Tichenell said. “He always had a positive attitude when it came to hard practices and long days over the summer. He was a great kicker and kept us alive in some of our closer games.”
One of those included the game against Episcopal, where Chiazza tied the game with a minute left in the game.
He already has an advantage over most high school kickers planning on kicking in college by not using the allowed kicking block. He has shown professionalism throughout his time as a kicker, playing by college rules.
“With the field goals in high school, you are allowed to use the kicking block,” Brady said. “You can not do that in college, and Brandon does not use it in the games, which actually gives him an advantage because he’s already used to the college rules.”A kicking block is a device which allows the kicker to place the football on a raised rubber block in order to have a cleaner kick. Brandon kicks straight from the turf, and is still very successful.
Also, Chiazza has the mind game of a kicker.
“He is a very confident person, which makes him a good kicker,” Brady said. “At the end of the game, and you need to kick the ball through the uprights to win, all of sudden it is on you. The amount of confidence you need in yourself in order to do that takes a special person.”
“At first, I thought I would just try it out,” Chiazza said. “But, I really started to focus in on it when Coach Brady told me I had a lot of potential.”
But, above all, Chiazza is a kid who loves his sport and loves his school.
“Malvern is such a special place with so many great opportunities,” Chiazza said. “Malvern Football has changed my life forever and words can not explain the love I have for Malvern and my teammates.”