Pine-Richland’s Grant Argiro eyes future as college kicker

Saturday, May 4, 2024 | 11:01 AM

Grant Argiro has been the kicker on the Pine-Richland football team since he was a sophomore, but he also played junior varsity linebacker.

In fact his football career started as a offensive lineman and defensive end.

But that’s changed and for good reason.

“About this time last year the coaches sat me down and told me that playing linebacker or defensive end wasn’t my future and if you want to play in college, which you can at a high level, kicking is your future,” said Argiro, a junior.

That future seems bright.

Argiro recently showed off his powerful right leg by nailing a 58-yard field goal at the Hammer Kicking Academy regional camp in Triadelphia, W.Va.

He posted the clip to X.

“I’ve hit 60-plus when I’m practicing, but that’s definitely the longest field goal I have on film, especially at a camp,” Argiro said. “It felt good. I don’t want to say that’s a norm for me, because that sounds arrogant, but I do expect that from myself. I hold myself to a high standard. It was all business.”

Argiro has been working with Adam Tanalski, the owner of Hammer Kicking Academy since last year. He was invited to HKA’s Top 40 showcase this summer in Florida.

Like many kickers, Argiro has a soccer background, but his journey to football is a little different than many who make the transition, because he didn’t go straight to kicker.

Becoming a kicker started with gym class.

“I was kicking in gym class with some of my friends and actually made a 40-yarder,” Argiro said. “One of my friends’ dad was a coach on the team and he told me to practice kicking. I started kicking on the side at practice and splitting that with everything else. It became quickly apparent (kicking) was where my future was.”

Argiro joked that his dreams of being a linebacker or offensive lineman are over, but he knows that his path is in kicking. He’s become a major weapon for the Rams the last two years, which have ended in a state title in 2022 and a WPIAL Class 5A final appearance last season.

He set the record for the longest field goal made in school history at 48 yards and did so three times. He also nailed a 42-yarder in the 5A semifinal against Penn Hills and hit the game-winning extra point in the final seconds to seal a 10-9 win.

Argiro credited Pine-Richland head coach Jon LeDonne and Rams kicking coach Andy Dunlap with helping him realize his potential.

“If you look at my field goals from this past year or my sophomore year, most of them were from 35 or 40-plus, so just getting used to that and confident in my abilities has allowed me to be successful,” Argiro said. “All the trust the coaches put in me, especially as a sophomore, allowed me to grow pretty quickly.”

College coaches have taken notice of Argiro’s success. He’s recently attended spring games/practices at Pitt, Temple and Akron.

He’ll have the chance to kick in front of college coaches this summer at the HKA Top 40 event.

“It’s been a great experience seeing all these different programs work and meeting these coaches that I’ve been talking to since my sophomore year,” he said. “It’s allowed me to see what I want for myself in the future as a collegiate athlete and beyond.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


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