Shelton kicker Cristiano Rosa works to perfect craft

Cristiano Rosa began his kicking career with with Shelton Youth Football in 8th grade.

“A bunch of my friends challenged me to kick the football. I was horrible at it. Because of that I became addicted to getting better. It’s a real passion of mine,” Rosa said. “Nick Andrade would come out to my youth practices and help me. We became friends in high school. He was the kicker my freshman year. We would meet up and go kick together.”

Andrade followed Joe Zoppi, who followed the Groth brothers Jeff then Ed, as placekicker/punters at Shelton.

“It sinks in that there have been great kickers here,” Rosa said. “Jack Ferrera is an incoming freshman this year. Just like me with Nick, who showed me the ropes. Now Jake and I work together. He is doing great kicking the ball.”

Rosa works at his craft. He went to a camp run by Ed Groth, now coaching at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he placed first in field goals and kickoffs Rosa was second in punting.

Rosa said: “I work now with my coach Brendan Cahill. He is the best in the business. I’ve worked with for four years. He trains kids from all over New England. I’d be nowhere without him.”

Whether the team is up by 20 points or it is a last-second kick with game on the line,” Rosa believes having the right mindset is an important tool for kickers.

“To get a consistent result, I blank everything out. I keep my head down and swing straight. That’s worked for me,” he said. “I clear everything out, clear out the noise and kick the ball. I feel from 55 yards and in I can make them in most weather conditions. Punting is a lot of repetition, the catch the step the kick. In a game, the muscle memory takes over.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354