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West Virginia

WVU Punter Oliver Straw’s Long Journey to Football Beginning to Pay Off

Oliver Straw is changing into a family title in Morgantown and the encompassing areas of the West Virginia University campus, though he might not be amongst these concerned within the scoring.

Straw’s journey to changing into part of the Mountaineers nonetheless makes him one of many extra distinctive gamers on the roster.

Straw entered West Virginia by way of Melbourne, Australia, in January. He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey to an Australian father, Anthony, and an English mom, Joanne. The household moved from the United States to England earlier than finally settling down within the nation.

“It’s been a big transition,” Straw mentioned of his keep in West Virginia throughout Tuesday’s press convention. “Especially within the chilly climate. I hadn’t seen snow till I got here right here in January. But right here it was comparable with the sense of neighborhood.”

While at Mentone Grammar School in Melbourne, Straw took half in a six-month change program with Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch, New Jersey, the place he performed each soccer and basketball.

It was there that he acquired his first style of American soccer after enjoying Australian guidelines soccer for his highschool crew and the native AAU squad for seven years. Straw performed together with punting tight finish and defensive finish.

“I couldn’t play at varsity in New Jersey because of an international student transfer rule,” Straw mentioned. “I performed in opposition to JV and acquired perhaps three or 4 punts as a result of they do not normally like to punt the ball in JV.

“I still liked tight end. If I had started here I would have considered that my background.”

Straw famous that there’s a “mountain” of variations between Australian and American soccer, together with the truth that the pitch in Australia is formed like an oval. Straw mentioned the largest adjustment he felt was carrying the pads and helmet.

“We had them in Australia, but they’re nothing compared to what we have here,” Straw mentioned. “It’s totally different by way of the best way the sport is performed. I simply love doing this sport.”

Straw’s final purpose was to attend faculty and play sports activities within the United States. He did not formally begin following soccer, nonetheless, till a good friend of his father’s who labored for the Buffalo Bills noticed him punt and advisable he give it a strive.

Straw then started working with Prokick Australia, an academy that trains Australian gamers and helps them current to faculties throughout the United States.

Prokick could be very outstanding, producing 5 Ray Guy Award winners and 17 All-Americans, and inserting three gamers on the present Big 12 rosters. Straw started his coaching as a senior in highschool because the youngest particular person in this system, working with others of their 20s to 25s and over 30s.

“I worked with them for a year and a half to two years,” Straw mentioned. “Working with them gave me the chance to come right here. They do not normally study (the recruitment course of), we depart that to the trainers working Prokick.

“They take care of the discussions with the coaches and the interests of the schools. You don’t really hear much until it gets serious. (For West Virginia) I just got off the phone with the coaches and I was done.”

Straw brings a robust repertoire to West Virginia, having the ability to jab with each ft and kicking with a number of totally different kinds relying on the sport state of affairs and the status of Mountaineer coaches.

His accomplishment was acknowledged when Straw was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week following the Mountaineers’ loss to Texas Tech.

Big 12 names WVU Punter Oliver Straw Special Teams Player of the Week

In the sport, Straw recorded 5 punts averaging 46.6 yards per boat. He kicked a 63-yarder to make it a profession lengthy.

“It’s an honor, I honestly didn’t expect it,” Straw mentioned. “I simply went on the market and did as a lot as I might to assist the crew within the small function I’ve on the sector. I could not have performed it with out my snapper and canopy unit.”

Straw added that it is troublesome to get the award if you’re into dropping and underscored his function as a crew participant, saying he would have most well-liked to have completed the competitors on a greater observe.

“I know we’re trying to focus on the bright spots, but there’s always room for improvement,” Straw mentioned. “I always prefer when the team does better, even if I don’t have to stab.”

In seven video games, Straw has averaged 41.6 yards per punt whereas recording one touchback and 7 kicks inside the 20.

Welcome to the brand new dwelling of WVU soccer and basketball breaking information, evaluation and recruitment. Like us on Facebook, observe us Twitter and go to us on YouTube. And remember to subscribe to all of our articles, delivered straight to your inbox.

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