Jon Mora has finally reached his goal, after battling with fellow kicker Alex Garoutte for all of Fall Camp and the first eight weeks of the season the starting job is finally his.
“It feels good to know you are the starter,” Mora admitted, “[and]I just have to do my job in helping this team win. I just need to focus on kicking field goals. I have to go out there feeling confident and believe in my abilities.”
Mora admits that the last couples of weeks have been stressful trying to beat out the incumbent Garoutte, but believes that this process has made him a better kicker.
“It has been a crazy couple of weeks,” Mora described, “but I feel like we are making each other better every practice. Competition always makes you better. Whoever goes out there just has to go out and kick with confidence. Right now I am the kicker and if I can do that our team will be fine.”
Even though the battle among this tandem has been intense, it has not affected the relationship between them as they have known each other for years now.
“I am good friends with Alex,” Mora stated. “I knew him way back when we both played soccer in high school. When I came here and I found out he was on the team, it was an unexpected surprise. It’s tough because we are fighting for the same position, but at the end of the day we want each other to get better and to succeed.”
After initially losing the kicking competition coming out of Fall Camp, it could have been easy for Mora to back down and concede the job for the rest of the year. Yet, he kept having faith he would receive a chance to start later in the season.
“I just knew I had to focus on getting better every day at practice,” Mora commented. “I knew if I did my job every day that an opportunity would come. Now that the opportunity is here I need to go out there and perform and help this team win.”
After what Mora described as nerve racking first kick from 36 yards, one which he made with ease, the Sophomore settled in and made his next two attempts from 31 and 22 yards felling more comfortable with each attempt.
“Yeah the first kick is the hardest that’s for sure,” Mora recalled, “and I was glad to get that one out of the way early. After making the first one, I had a lot more confidence in myself. The other two kicks felt really good, and I knew I made them right when I kicked the ball.”
Mora isn’t concerned with the opinions of the media or fans concerning the Sun Devils’ kicking game, and is concentrated on the task he has at hand and it can help his team.
“I focus on getting better every day and helping this team win football games.” Mora noted. “I just try to focus on what I do at practice. I just visualize myself and the goalpost. It doesn’t matter who we are playing or what the circumstances are, I just go out there and try to make the field goal.”
Mora has lofty goals for himself, and knows that with a disciplined work ethic he is capable of meeting them.
“I think I have a lot of room to improve,” Mora noted. “I just have to focus on making each field goal and doing my job. I want to strive to make each field goal, so I have to focus before the game and put the work in during practice. If I can consistently do that, I will have success during the game.”