Keeping A Garnet Valley Tradition Going Charles Fouraker Is The Latest Jaguars Athlete To Enjoy Success Kicking Both Soccer Balls And Footballs.

Posted: October 24, 2000

Garnet Valley and great kickers just seem to go together.

A decade ago, Frank Zampardi was both a Division I-quality soccer player and a kicker in football for the Jaguars as well. He would later play soccer at Towson University.

Three years later, another soccer player, Dave Nicholl, boomed the ball for the Garnet Valley football team, too. He went on to star for the Temple University football team.

Brian Shepanski, a terrific all-around athlete, followed those two on the soccer field and on the gridiron. And Mike Shaw performed double duty last year.

Now it's the turn of Charles Fouraker, a big-footed junior who has been the back-line rock for the Jaguars' star-crossed soccer team and the guy who handles all the kicking and punting chores for the football team.

Fouraker plays sweeperback on the soccer team, and he has been the defensive foundation for the team, which lost two of its top defenders to injury.

On the football team, Fouraker punts, kicks off, and handles both the extra-point and field-goal duties. He has scored 29 points for the Jaguars (6-1), who are aiming for a District 1 Class AAA playoff spot.

Fouraker has the physical makeup for the rigors of both sports. He is 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, and he readily admits that "I like to hit people." He made a key hit this season, preventing a touchdown in Garnet Valley's 28-13 win over Archmere Academy (Del.).

"He would be a great football player," said Mike Ricci, the Jaguars football coach. "I think he'd be a linebacker if he played. He's a big, strong, athletic kid, and he's aggressive. Now he's never played football, so he doesn't have the skills. But he'll still stick his nose in there."

Fouraker says that he never worries about injuries, even when he follows through on a punt, leaving himself vulnerable.

"I know our punt-blockers are really good," he said. "It's a lot more fun than it is dangerous."

The Garnet Valley soccer team probably would not have been as successful as it was this fall without Fouraker, although it failed to qualify for the district tournament. Injuries were a major problem, with Matt Greskiewicz (hamstring) and Frank Capriotto (bruised knee) missing considerable time. The Jaguars finished at .500 (7-7) in the Southern Chester County League.

"Charles has stepped up big," said Ernie Fouraker, the Garnet Valley coach, who is is Charles' uncle. "And it's been tough. Charles runs the defense, and we have a pretty good offside trap that we run. But we had to introduce two new guys back there, and we had some problems."

The coach is obviously proud of his nephew.

"We just don't know where the size comes from," he said with a laugh. "There's none of that in our family. But he is a big, powerful kid."

And Ernie Fouraker thinks that his nephew can get even better. Back in 1994, he said, Nicholl had "the most powerful leg I've ever seen." He thinks that his nephew could become even better.

"I mean, his legs are huge," the coach said. "But he still needs to be taught the right way to stick a ball. He needs to go to a camp and spend some time with kickers. Because he hasn't even come close to what he can do."

Brian Miller's e-mail address is millerbk@phillynews.com

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