Anthony Tigano’s first experience kicking for St. Joe’s Prep football team wasn’t exactly a memorable one. Then a sophomore, Tigano lined up for what is normally an extra-point try. But Hawks’ coach Gabe Infante likes to add a little flavor to his kicker’s attempts during practice. Infante has his team stop their drills and gather behind the kicker. Sometimes Infante has the team chant, sometimes scream to rattle the kicker.

anthony tigano 18 High School Football Top 10: St. Joe’s Prep Finds A Foot

“It was terrible,” Tigano recalled, laughing. “You have to adjust and very first kick went wide right. I didn’t hit the ball right. My head was in a blur. All of that was new to me. I could feel coach Infante’s glare burning a hole through the back of my helmet. It was insane. Coach Infante had me try it again. I knew I could do better.”

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Tigano has.

Last Friday, in an impressive 27-7 victory over a very good Archbishop Wood team, Tigano booted 40- and 25-yard field goals—and all three extra points.

Prep is a much different team than the 2016 PIAA 6A state champions. The Hawks graduated all-everything tailback D’Andre Swift and are winning this year with a stubborn defense and it appears they have another long-distance weapon in Tigano, whose 40-yard field goal in the third quarter of the Wood victory was a career best.

Tigano, a senior, has come a long way from the nervous, twitchy sophomore who when he first began playing football didn’t even know how to put on the pads.

“My first kick as a starter was a missed extra point in last year’s opening game, and I was really mad about that,” Tigano said. “I remember coach Infante pulling me over and asking ‘What happened?’ I told him “I don’t know.” He said ‘That’s not a good answer.’ I missed one more the rest of the year. I made the rest.

“I was surprised coach Infante let me kick the 40-yarder, and I wasn’t. But we always practice from that distance and I usually hit most of them. So when he put me in last week, I was kind of shocked. I did know what to do, though, when it was time. I’ve learned to block things out. Al lit is is white noice. I look at the kicking block and the ball. You get used to everyone yelling at you. It reaches a point where you’re able to handle it.”

And it may come down to Tigano to win a big game later this year. He certainly was able to handle the pressure situation against Wood. Tigano has kicked field goals as far as 52 yards—in practice—with some room to spare.

“Over the course of the years, if keep kicking and kicking in practice, your leg is dead by the end of the week,” Tigano said. “I always stay alert to when coach Infante wants me to kick. I would like to kick in college. I would like to go to Johns Hopkins and one day be a doctor.”

Prep currently has the area’s long winning streak at 17-straight games.

Delaware Valley Top 10 For Sept. 22, 2017

1. St. Joe’s Prep (Record: 3-0)

2. La Salle (Record: 3-1)

3. Downingtown East (Record: 4-0)

4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 2-2)

5. Coatesville (Record: 3-1)

6. Imhotep Charter (Record: 3-1)

7. Garnet Valley (Record: 4-0)

8. Timber Creek (Record: 3-0)

9. Vineland (Record: 2-0)

10. Millville (Record: 2-0)

Southeastern PA Top 10 For Sept. 22, 2017

1. St. Joe’s Prep (Record: 3-0)

2. La Salle (Record: 3-1)

3. Downingtown East (Record: 4-0)

4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 2-2)

5. Coatesville (Record: 3-1)

6. Imhotep Charter (Record: 3-1)

7. Garnet Valley (Record: 4-0)

8. Central Bucks South (Record: 4-0)

9. North Penn (Record: 2-2)

10. Malvern Prep (Record: 1-2)

South Jersey Top 10 For Sept. 22, 2017

1. Timber Creek (Record: 3-0)

2. Vineland (Record: 2-0)

3. Millville (Record: 2-0)

3. Camden Catholic (Record: 2-0)

4. Lenape (Record: 2-0)

5. St. Joseph (Record: 2-0)

6. St. Augustine (Record: 2-1)

7. Rancocas Valley (Record: 2-0)

8. West Deptford (Record: 2-0)

9. Paulsboro (Record: 2-0)

10. Delsea (Record: 1-1)

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