GIBSON CITY (WCIA) — Ben Freehill has played on both sides of the ball and special teams his entire high school career, but this offseason Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley head coach Mike Allen changed that.
“You’re a kicker, punter, that’s all your doing,” Allen told the senior. “We’re not going to risk anything because he is such a weapon for us in those positions.”
And it’s hard to argue with that logic. Freehill is the highest ranked kicker and punter in the state in the Class of 2019. Nationally, he checks in as the 26th best punter and the 38th kicker, according to Chris Sailer Kicking. He went to camps across the country this summer, from Los Angeles to Maryland, and Atlanta to Minneapolis.
“It helps me with seeing other guys and other kickers that might be better than me so it pushed me to know that I could,” Freehill said. “That’s a goal for me to be that good and that’s definitely within reach so just competitiveness.”
The senior started kicking in the 2nd grade when his uncle welded together three pieces of metal in the form of uprights. He started organized football four years later.
“Just all the support I got through youth football,” he said. “When I’d have people come up to me after the game and say that they see a future for me in kicking and punting, that really just motivated me to come out and just keep working on it and be the best kicker and punter that I can be.”
Freehill does both for the Falcons, but says he sees himself as a punter at the next level. Freehill is the GCMS record holder with a 50-yard field goal he hit in week three of last season.
“That allows you to try some things that maybe you wouldn’t do normally,” Allen said. “Take a little more risks knowing you have Ben there if it doesn’t work out.”
Freehill currently has one offer — Western Illinois — but multiple Big Ten schools have showed interest, including Iowa and Maryland.