Vedvik ready to kickstart Riders momentum

Only in Saskatchewan would the expectations for the incoming punter be as high as one of Kaare Vedvik’s booming punts.

But replacing local football hero Jon Ryan is just the latest challenge for Vedvik.

The path taken by Vedvik is unique and one he didn’t see coming. “It’s been an ongoing journey, one thing has led to the next it’s, not something I planned, it’s just the result of how I approach my everyday life.”

Vedvik’s journey began in Norway, he decided to move across the ocean to the United States on his desire to learn how cultures of other places around the world work. Once he arrived, the Norwegian was introduced to kicking in American football after having an extensive background in soccer.

In soccer, Vedvik says when you’re kicking, you want to have a curve in your shot while in football you want to kick the ball as straight as you can. When attempting his first field goals he says the power wasn’t the problem, it was the accuracy. “First time lining up to kick an American football, I remember I hit the left upright and then I hit the right upright and I was like hold on, kicking the ball straight is it’s own shape, it’s not easy.”

Once Vedvik realized his kicking abilities could land him a free education, he decided to pursue the matter.

Marshall University is where the kicker would settle and play college football in the United States.

Green is not the only thing that Rider nation and Marshall University have in common according to Vedvik. A strong passion for football rings true for both places he says. “In Marshall we bleed green and I kind of get the same energy from here and seeing die hard Roughrider fans we have up here and the love of the program, you really feel it when you come up here.”

While the Norwegian was trying to learn the nuances of punting, Vedvik says he studied a lot of Jon Ryan. He says that guys like the former University of Regina punter paved the way for players like himself. “When I was coming to the U.S. and I was watching all these kicking highlights professionals on the internet, Jon Ryan was one of the punters I was watching and I remember watching a lot film of him growing up and him hitting these high hangtime balls and he was playing for the Seahawks at the time.”

It will be a big challenge for Vedvik to replace Ryan, but it’s a challenge the current Riders punter is looking forward too.

A big current challenge for the Saskatchewan Roughriders is solving special teams issues that were exposed during their loss to the Alouettes. Vedvik says the key is mental toughness. “You’ve got to go out there, you have to be able to face adversity , you got to take it in the chin and you got to go back out there and say, hey, I’m still going to go out there put on a performance that can help my team win.”

The Riders will hold their only matchup with the Alouettes at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday. You can catch the game on 620 CKRM beginning with Countdown to Kickoff at 2:00, opening kickoff is at 5:00.

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