PIGSKIN PREVIEW TAB -- RCTC kicker has made a name for himself
England native Lloyd a preseason All-American
By Guy N. Limbeck
Rhys Lloyd is more concerned about the end of the season than the start.
The place kicker for the Rochester Community and Technical College football team has been selected as a preseason All-American in the junior college ranks.
"It means a lot to me, but it doesn't mean anything unless it comes at the end of the season," Lloyd said of the lofty status.
Last year Lloyd made 13 of 23 field goals, with a long of 52 yards, and drilled 56 of 57 extra points. He had back-to-back games in which he made four field goals.
"The key player from what he did last year and what we expect this year is Rhys Lloyd," RCTC coach Tom Hosier said.
Lloyd, a native of Dover, England, moved to Minnesota as a teenager. His father, Bryn Lloyd, is a former soccer player in England and the current high school coach at Eastview. Rhys played high school soccer for his dad at Eastview.
"My dad has been helping me a lot on my kicking techniques," Lloyd said. The younger Lloyd also played in a men's summer soccer league in the Twin Cities. He said he helped keep him in shape for football.
"I just try to keep to my own routine and kick on my own in the summer," he said.
Lloyd has a sturdy build at 6-foot and 220 pounds. He is consistent in practice on field goals between 45 and 50 yards. His strong leg has enabled him to kick 60-yard field goals in practice. He said he would like to get a shot at a long-distance field goal in a game this season.
"I'd like to attempt above a 55-yarder in a game, a 60 if he (Hosier) would let me," Lloyd said.
Even though he attempted a combined 80 place kicks a year ago, Lloyd expects to be just as busy again this year for the usually high-powered RCTC offense.
"I want to try and be 100 percent on PATs and 80 to 90 percent on field goals," he said.
Last year the Yellowjackets finished 10-2, losing their final two games. They lost 14-13 to Fergus Falls in the state championship game and then to Dixie State in the Dixie Rotary Bowl. Lloyd had a chance to win the state title game in the final seconds, but his 44-yard field goal was just wide right. The miss remains in his memory.
"I know our team goal is to win the state championship and go to a bowl game and get back the national championship," Lloyd said.
The Yellowjackets were national champions two years ago, a year before Lloyd arrived.
"We can have a good season," he said. "We have a really good team attitude."
And a really good kicker.