Q&A with punter Stephen Shaw
Oct. 26, 2012
Stephen Shaw, a redshirt freshman from Fullerton, Calif., joins the Grizzlies’ special teams as another vital young member of the squad. Shaw has been an asset to the team and punted nine times for an average of 43.8 yards per kick in the last week’s game against UND. In high school, he averaged 43.4 yards per kick. Shaw majors in political science at UM.
How does it feel to be starting as punter for the Griz?
I am honored to be able to be the starting punter for the Griz. There has been a long tradition of great punters and kickers at Montana and I hope to continue the cycle.
What are you expectations for yourself this season?
I have set personal goals for myself as well as the team this season. The team goals are more important to me though. The team comes before any one individual.
What do you think is your biggest strength as punter?
Being able to relax and focus in high pressure situations is a strength for me. You must trust your preparation as well as trust your teammates who are blocking for you.
What would you like to improve on?
Flexibility and consistency are two things that I believe I can work on during the offseason.
If you weren’t punter, what position would you love to play? Why?
Tight end on offense or linebacker on defense. These are two positions that I played in high school as well. Even though I’m a punter, I’m not afraid of a little contact.
Was there a moment while playing high school ball that made you think about pursuing playing college football?
There was a kicker two years older than me by the name of Parker Flynn at my high school who went to Arizona State to play. Watching him go through the process really motivated me to be able to play in college.
Do you have a pre-game routine?
I roll out, stretch, eat a snack and pray before every game.
What is your favorite sports memory?
Winning a baseball tournament when I was 12 in Cooperstown NY. There were 80 teams from across the country in it, and I was able to be the winning pitcher in the championship game.
What was the biggest adjustment you had to make when you moved to Montana from California?
I would say that buying some actual winter coats and adjusting to country music were two new things for me.
What are the challenges of being a college football player?
A jam-packed schedule during the week is the hardest part. I have some mornings where I leave before the sun is up and get back to my house when it is down.
What is the most rewarding part of playing for the Griz?
The support from some of the best fans in the country. Being able to give back to the community that supports you is really neat.
What do you like to do outside of football?
Baseball, basketball, bowling and movies are some things I like.
What has been the hardest class you have taken at UM?
Intro to Political Ethics.
Do you have a role model? If yes, who?
My father is my biggest role model.
Who is your favorite athlete?
Kobe is probably my favorite.
What’s your favorite football team?
In professional I would say Steelers. I am also a USC fan. My mom played basketball there.
Who has helped you the most with your football career?
The two head coaches from the high schools I attended really encouraged and pushed me to be the best I can be. Todd Simis and Jim Kunau are both great men and I have the upmost respect for them.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Well I hope to possibly play professionally, but if that can’t happen then I could see myself become a judge, lawyer or attorney.
Why did you pick your major?
I really enjoy politics and government.
So we all know that you are a talented punter, but do you have a hidden talent that would be unexpected to most people?
I was going to go into the amateur bowling association when I was 13. My high score is 267.
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