Impossible to tell by its lopsided victories as of late, but the New Palestine football team continues to improve.
On special teams, the squad has found a consistent kicker in freshman Kyle Barton.
Since earning the job in an open competition, Barton is 14-of-15 on extra points in three games.
Prior to Barton’s emergence, extra points were a hit or miss proposition.
“Thankfully we’ve been putting up enough total points it hasn’t mattered, but there were a couple games there where we missed three and I think one time even missed four extra point attempts,” NP coach Kyle Ralph said.
The Class 4A No. 3 Dragons have won each of their seven games by at least 25 points, but with the sectional opener two weeks away — the draw is Sunday — the chances of a close game increase for New Palestine.
“You’d hate to lose a game because of an extra point,” Ralph said. “It’s one of those things that it should be a gimme no matter what. In close games, those are the difference-makers.
“We just needed more consistency in that part of the game and that’s what we really started looking for as a staff, and fortunately Kyle’s been able to do that for us. It’s tough for a freshman to step into a varsity game … but he’s been pretty cool and calm and done a really good job for us.”