By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools
MURFREESBORO — Oakland senior Aaron Sears doesn’t miss many extra points as the Patriots’ kicker.
He’s currently hit 111 consecutive kicks, making him the new record-holder among Tennessee high school programs, according to information maintained by the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association. The previous record, 106, was set by Hillsboro’s Jacob Noe in 2008.
While Sears says there have been many memorable kicks during his high school career — such as any of the ones against Maryville — he particularly recalls a kick after a previously failed attempt.
“The one after a missed kicked against Smyrna,” Sears said without hesitation, but quickly added, “I made the next PAT (point after touchdown) to show that I’m still there.
“I’m not going to miss two in a row.”
To put Sears' streak in perspective, it began during the playoffs in 2015 during his sophomore year.
Special teams coach Vladimir Borombozin describes Sears as “special.”
“It’s rare to fine someone, who mentally, is in on every kick,” said Borombozin, or Coach V as they call him. “I’ve been around a lot of kickers, and every once it a while, they’ll take a play off. He doesn’t. Even in practice, he pretends like he’s in a game situation.”
Like many kickers, Sears started in soccer. He previously played parochially and select soccer during his middle school years.
It was during this time that his father joked with him because Sears always liked taking free kicks more than other parts of the sport.
“So he said, “if you just want to kick a ball, why don’t you go and just play football for your high school?’” Sears said. “I told him to drop it but then summer rolled around, and I had a piqued interest in it. So I played freshmen football and loved it.”
Both his parents have been tremendously supportive of his efforts, Sears added.
As for his immediate future plans, Sears wants to extend his streak even further.
“I’d love to get 175 or 180 (extra points),” he said.
Coach Borombozin laughed at that goal, although not out of disbelief.
“If there’s anyone who could do it, he could do it,” Borombozin said.
Longterm, Sears plans to attend college but has not made any commitments or received any offers — yet.
“It’s more difficult for kickers because there’s only one scholarship and the rest of the guys are walk-ons,” he explained. “So I’m trying to get a scholarship.”
You can catch Sears and the rest of the Patriots tonight as they face Maryville in Murfreesboro beginning at 7 p.m.
PHOTOS / JAMES EVANS
Oakland senior Aaron Sears practices Thursday, Aug. 24, to prepare for the Patriots' game against Maryville. At 111, Sears is the new record holder in Tennessee for the most consecutive extra point kicks.