Keelan Anderson isn’t only leading the way for kicking field goals in Wyoming this season, he’s also leading the nation.
Anderson hit a Wyoming-record 61-yard field goal for his Cheyenne South Bison football team on Sept. 22 which, according to MaxPreps, as of last week still stands as the longest made field goal in American high school football this year.
“It’s cool, it’s all kind of surreal,” Anderson said. “It’s just kind of cool to have your name on that board. It shows all the work you put into it.”
The second-longest kick of 60 yards was made in Alabama.
High school football is still being played in other parts of the country until as late as mid-December, so Anderson still has a little time to go to clinch the longest kick in the nation for the 2023 season. If he does, it will likely be the first time Wyoming has had the longest field goal in the nation for any season, as there was a longer kick made during the 1982 season when previous Wyoming state record holder David Browning made his 57-yard kick.
Anderson tried to add to his record later this season when he lined up for a 62-yard attempt. Although the kick was straight down the pike, it fell about a half-yard short, Anderson said. Still, he’s made three kicks this season that were longer than any other made in Wyoming before, and five of 46 yards or longer.
The all-time American high school field goal record of 68 yards was set in 1985.
Anderson, a senior, won’t get another opportunity to add on to his record as the Bison played their final game Oct. 13, finishing 0-9 on the season.
On Monday night, Anderson was recognized by the Laramie County School District 1 Board of Education for his kicking exploits.
“He just wants to be a great teammate and he’s been that way since he came on with us,” said his special teams coach Stephen Imbriani at the meeting. “We just went along for the ride, and it’s been a blast to watch it.”
On To College
Anderson plans to play football in college and has been visiting some schools. He’s also working with a Texas-based recruiter to help find an athletic scholarship opportunity.
Anderson’s received some scholarship offers from smaller schools like Black Hills State and Montana Tech, but still hopes that a Division I football program will show him some interest. He did an official visit to the University of Wyoming, but no offer was forthcoming.
Anderson said there’s not much of a standard when it comes to recruiting kickers and that it’s hard to say what’s holding him back from getting attention from the nation’s top college football programs.
Wyoming native and former NFL player Nick Bebout told Cowboy State Daily that local players have never received as much attention as they’ve deserved.
“Wyoming doesn’t seem to get the recognition and see what the kids are doing probably because it’s the smallest population state,” Bebout said. “It may not be intentional, but it sure happens.”
Also, the Bison were not a good football team, which left Anderson with far fewer opportunities to kick field goals than if he were on a more competitive squad. It could be that his low volume of attempts is scaring some bigger programs away. And a losing team generally doesn’t attract as many college scouts.
Anderson was 8-10 on field goal attempts during the season and 2-4 on extra point attempts, a very low sample size for the latter statistic.
Imbriani said no matter what school Anderson ends up playing for, the kicker will maintain a team-first mentality.
“And not about himself, and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.