Kaiser kicker Kyler Halvorsen commits to Washington State

Kyler Halvorsen is a Kaiser Cougar who will soon become a Washington State Cougar. Photo courtesy of Macy Hill.

Patience is a way of life for placekickers.

That same trait came in handy during the recruiting process for Kaiser senior Kyler Halvorsen. Roughly a dozen D-I programs showed interest in the strong-footed two-sport athlete, but Halvorsen committed to Washington State on Tuesday afternoon.

Cal, Hawaii and several more programs, including Wake Forest, had flirted with Halvorsen, but didn’t make quite the same opportunity available. He will be a preferred walk-on (PWO) as a freshman, with a chance to earn a scholarship after that. More importantly, Halvorsen gets a shot at the starting role right away.

“It definitely is a really good feeling. I’m happy and confident in my ability where I’m going. It hasn’t kicked in yet, but when it does, it’ll be an exciting moment in my life,” he said.

Washington State special teams coordinator Kyle Krantz and Josh Omura, director of transfer recruiting, were determined to reel Halvorsen in.

“I talked with them around 12:30 for 10, 15 minutes. It was quick and they were excited, really happy. They said that right now they don’t have a starting kicker and the opportunity is there for me to compete for the starting job. Coach Krantz said I definitely have a strong leg. He likes that I’m consistent and have a strong, competitive drive, and I’m mentally strong.”

Halvorsen’s longest field goal as a Kaiser Cougar was 53 yards. But his resilience and persistence through the offseason each year have been a big part of his success — despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent video on social media shows the right-footed bomber sending a kickoff eight yards deep into the end zone against a stiff Kamiloiki Valley head wind.

The wind patterns of the Cougars’ field — the one in Pullman — isn’t normally as powerful as those at Kaiser Stadium.

“They said because of the way the stadium is built and where the hills are, the wind is kind of blocked. Occasionally, they get some wind,” Halvorsen said.

His oldest brother, Kalen, played soccer for Punahou. Older sister Kaile Halvorsen was a standout soccer player at Kaiser and now scores goals for Santa Clara. The youngest offspring, Kyler, bucked the trend.

“I was more serious in soccer. That’s what I grew up with, but my football skills started to take off kind of during my freshman or sophomore year. My parents started to see maybe it made more sense from a financial standpoint,” Halvorsen said.

Kit Halvorsen explained the process to his youngest son.

“A lot of it comes down to only one kicker getting a spot (in college). There’s so little money for my position,” Kyler Halvorsen said.

There will not be a lack of confidence for Halvorsen, who has a 3.61 grade-point average.

“I feel like I could definitely step in at either position, field goals and kickoffs. Both of those are my strong suits,” he said.

Lockdown staples

Top 3 movies/shows

1. “Star Wars”

“All of them.”

2. “The Walking Dead”

3. King Kong and Godzilla movies

“I kind of like sci-fi.”

Top 3 food/snack/drink

1. Spicy ahi poke, Ono Seafood (Kalama Valley)

2. Sikdorak

“I get refills of rice like five times. I like the kal bi and the bulgogi.”

3. Fish tacos

“My dad and my brother, they usually catch the fish because my uncle (Brad Thiessen) has a boat. They catch ono, ahi, all kinds of fish like that.”

Top 3 music artists

1. Juice WRLD – “Lean With Me”

2. Eminem – “8 Mile”

3. Kodak Black – “Transporting”

New life skill: volunteering with Hawaii Speed & Quickness

“That was with Coach Rich Miano. I taught kids how to kick. They were about 9 to 12.

“I had a part-time job at Sophie’s Pizza. I cooked the pizza. They put me through training and I worked there for six months. Now I’m going to work part-time and help out my uncle (Vance Texeira). We’re going to do some construction work starting next Wednesday.”

Bucket list

1. Hike Mt. Everest

“I guess it’s just reaching the top, becoming one of the few people to ever conquer Mt. Everest. Going to through the hardships, it just seems cool to me. My brother Kalen would go with me. We like to hike a lot together, but either way, he’s coming whether he knows it or not.”

2. Northern Lights, Alaska

“I think that’s during winter time. You see people there in cabins just staying there for a couple weeks, just be in the wilderness and camp there, watch the Northern Lights with my family.”

3. Skydiving

“Anywhere. I’ve always wanted to skydive.”

Shout outs

“My dad, my mom (Patricia), Coach Rich Miano and Lori Miano. My head coach, Tim Seaman. Kaiser High School. And my athletic director, Mr. (Nelson) Chee.”


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