EDITOR NOTE: Nathan Peterson, who wrote this piece on Cienega High School placekicker Aaron Aros, was Cienega’s long snapper last season.
When the young freshman walked onto what was at the time Nemer Hassey Field in 2013 there was not much belief that he would be one of the best kickers to line a ball up on a tee for the copper and navy of Cienega High School.
The one man who had belief in Aaron Aros was Bret Holley, the special teams coordinator for Cienega. Holley, who was a punter for the University of Arizona with a stint in the NFL, knows a thing or two about kickers.
When talking to him about Aros, now a senior, he had big things to say about his placekicker.
“The ball comes off his foot so quickly and with such height, you just don’t see that aspect from very many kickers,” Holley said.
Holley has seen many kickers come in and out of Cienega, such as last year’s hero of a few games, Jacob Meeker-Hackett.
But Holley knew he had a something special with Aros. “I thought he had the potential to be the best kicker I have ever coached,” he said.
Aros came in at the end of last season to relieve Meeker-Hackett of kickoff duties because he was battling injuries. The Bobcats themselves limped to the end of the season missing the playoffs mainly in part to losing very close games.
Some games were decided by a touchdown or less, especially some very close sectional games. Towards the end of the season, the Bobcats started to click in all three phases of the game. The offense was putting points on the board. The defense was hitting hard and making big stops. The special teams was creating magic.
But some things did not show up on a stat sheet, especially the way Aros boomed kickoffs out the back of the end zone. His performance is something the coaching staff liked and Holley loved and looked forward to this season.
Now this year, Aros has moved into the role of making field goals and PATs and handling kickoffs. And if you haven’t seen his Twitter earlier in the year, Aaron has quite the leg for field goals, including booming a 62-yarder in practice with a full rush — something Holley was thrilled to see.
“Aaron, I think, underachieved his first two years as he was still playing soccer and was injured in those years,” Holley said. “But this year, in the off-season, he worked extremely hard and has developed into a very accomplished placekicker.
“At this point in time, I would not hesitate to give him a chance to win a game for us, probably up to 55 yards. He has hit 62-yard field goals in practice with a full rush, so he definitely has the leg strength.”
In the dominant year like Cienega (9-0) has enjoyed, the Bobcats have not required game-winning field goals. Scoring 40 or more points in all but one game this season and the smallest margin of victory being 17 points, Cienega hasn’t needed their kicker to win a game for them just yet. But he is more than dependable to get the job done if needed to do so.
AARON AROS SENIOR PLACEKICKER STATS
Stats provided by MaxPreps.com
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Being No. 16 in the nation for kicking points, kicking a season-long 49-yard field goal, and having offers rolling in, including Adam State, Aros definitely plays a key role for this magical undefeated season for Cienega.
After the Bobcats took care of business last Friday against top-notch opponent Ironwood Ridge, tonight they have their regular-season finale against Marana Mountain View to close out a possible undefeated season. It would only be their second unbeaten regular-season campaign in school history.
“I believe the team has a great chance at making it to state,” said Aros, who along with his fellow seniors, will make it a crusade to win it all.