A young Belmont athlete is being touted as the next big talent in football kicking — and he has the backing of one of the best placekickers in Canadian football history.
As a kicker, defensive back and wide receiver, Michael Peverelle, 17, helped lead the Belmont Bulldogs varsity football squad to its best season ever last year, a 6-0 record and an Island championship.
Now the six-foot-three Grade 11 student has made Team BC as its kicker for the Football Canada Cup in Lethbridge, Alta., starting July 9. Peverelle is the sole kicker on the 40-player roster.
“Michael has one of the best live legs for his age I’ve ever seen,” said Dave Culter, a kicker with the Edmonton Eskimos through the 1970s and 80s, and who is considered one of the greatest placekickers in Canadian Football League history, according to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
“Kicking is not an easy thing, there are a lot of mental aspects to it, but Michael has that in spades. He is very, very good now, and he will be great.”
Culter, who lives in Victoria, volunteered to help Peverelle prepare for Team BC tryouts, giving him the breadth of his football knowledge. Through his long career with the Eskimos, Culter won a number of honours for kicking and was on six Grey Cup champion teams.
“I’m happy to pay it forward,” he said. “I got help as a kid too.”
Peverelle is grateful for the insight and extra help. A football player only since Grade 10, he is looking forward to representing B.C. “I like the pressure (of placekicking). The spotlight is on you,” Peverelle said.
Belmont football coach Kevin Harrington agreed that Peverelle was a huge asset to the Bulldogs and is looking forward to a team with depth next season.
“Mike is by far the best kicker on the Island and probably in B.C.,” Harrington said. “He has a huge leg. It’s a definite asset kicking off and the other team has to run it out of the endzone.”