Recruiting Update: Superior K Dave Zastrow

December 10, 2009

Ohio State kicker Devin Barclay was the hero in Columbus on November 14 when he sealed a 27-24 Buckeye victory over Iowa with an overtime field goal. Barclay hadn’t even thought about kicking until he was 23 as he decided to get away from the game of soccer after being released by the MLS Columbus Crew.

Superior kicker Dave Zastrow also played soccer all his life, but after a 2-20 season in 2008, Zastrow knew there was time for a change.

“I wanted change and to try something new and the football team needed a kicker,” said Zastrow.

Zastrow made the commitment to join the Spartans soon after the 2008 fall sports season as two-year kicker/running back/defensive back/returner Chris Blake was set to graduate. Zastrow knew that he would be taking on a new sport, but that football, like for Barclay, carried a lot of similarities.

“Soccer had a huge impact on my kicking game. It’s the same motion, leg extension, and same muscles are used,” Zastrow said. “Yet I had a lot to learn.”

To most people, kicking appears to be the simplest aspect of the game, but Zastrow soon found out that wasn’t the case.

“Going into the season I personally thought that there was nothing to it and it was going to be a breeze,” Zastrow said. “I was wrong.”

The Spartan coaches taught him some kicking tips throughout the pre-season but Zastrow also needed to adjust to having a human holder and snapper rather than a metal ball holder used in practice. In the first game of the season against Stevens Point, Zastrow booted two extra points, but it would be in Week 2 against D.C. Everest where he would realize a lot about the mental challenges of being a kicker. With under a minute to play, a Spartan drive stalled at the Evergreen 17 and Zastrow was called out to kick with the Spartans down 15-13.

“After D.C. I found out how emotional and intense a game can really get. I personally thought it would not have came down to me,” Zastrow said.

Zastrow missed the kick and the Spartans dropped to 0-2 but Zastrow and the SHS coaching staff learned that Zastrow needed to be fresher on the sidelines. The team brought a kicking net for Zastrow on the sidelines for the rest of the season. Unfortunately for Zastrow, he didn’t kick a field goal for the rest of the season, however he did make 13 of 15 extra points for the 3-6 Spartans. Zastrow also kicked off 26 times, averaging 34.7 yards a kick.

Although Zastrow did not have the greatest year statistically, he is now focused on continuing to learn as a kicker and wants to play at the next level. Zastrow was hoping to get noticed as a soccer player, but the interest just wasn’t there. Zastrow is currently garnering interest from Augsburg College, St. Thomas University and the College of St. Scholastica (CSS), all Division III programs.

“St. Thomas is my first choice for football, then Augsburg, then CSS,” Zastrow said.

Zastrow also applied to the University of Minnesota but only for academic reasons. It remains to be seen whether Zastrow will find the right program to continue at, but he knows for certain that playing football for the Spartans this season turned out as a very good experience.

“Those 3 seconds that I got to be out on that field replaced any game, tournament, goal, minute…etc. in any soccer experience of my life,” Zastrow said. “I think I made the right choice and it was one hell of a ride.”

Dan Tracy



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