Roman Ferreira wasn’t one of the biggest players on Cathedral Catholic’s football team, but what he lacked in physical stature he made up in effectiveness.
Ferreira, a La Jolla resident who graduated from Cathedral this spring, stands just 5-foot-7 and weighs only 145 pounds. As a placekicker and punter, though, that matters little, and he turned out to be one of San Diego County’s best at his position.
Now, he hopes to continue that success kicking for Division III Whittier College, where he starts practice this week.
“I made the decision in early April,” Ferreira said. “I went to one of their last spring football games, and decided to commit and go kick for them.
“I had visited there and narrowed my choices down to what I really wanted academically. It’s a small school, and I can get a lot out of the small classroom size to prepare for a career in case football doesn’t pan out.”
For now, though, football is his major focus.
Ferreira was instrumental on a Cathedral team that last year won its league and CIF San Diego Section Division III titles for a second straight season and went on to win a state title. While most of the headlines went to all-everything running back Tyler Gaffney, Ferreira was, remarkably, second on the team to Gaffney in scoring.
In 14 games, he converted 88 point-after-touchdown attempts and eight field goals, totaling 112 points (an average of eight points per game). His 80 kickoffs traveled a total off 4,641 yards (better than 58 yards per kick), and his 20 punts averaged more than 32 yards, with a long of 41 yards.
Simply put, next to Gaffney, who was the state player of the year and scored 56 touchdowns, Ferreira was the Don’s most effective weapon.
He attributes his success to a lot of hard work, working out and repetition. His biggest focus in practice is perfecting his techniques to ensure that he’s consistent with each kick and punt.
Ferreira will report on Friday to Whittier College in east Los Angeles County, and will compete for the starting kicking and punting jobs.
The Poets’ first game is Sept. 12 at Sul Ross State in El Paso, Texas. They open at home against Menlo on Sept. 26.
“I expect it to be a lot harder than high school,” Ferreira said.
“I’ll be competing for a position, but I’m pretty confident in myself.”
Roman Ferreira launches a kick in a game against Point Loma last season. Courtesy of Bob Davis