August 3, 2013 in Sports

Former NFL kicker Hollis back in area for camps

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Mike Hollis works a high school kicker during Hollis’ camp at Central Valley High School in 2010.
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Mike Hollis is giving his birthplace, Kellogg, a discount.

The former Central Valley, University of Idaho and Jacksonville Jaguars place-kicker is holding a camp today in Kellogg. His business, Pro Form Kicking Academy, normally charges $125 for a one-day camp. Kids who attend today will be charged $80.

Hollis didn’t live in Kellogg long after he was born. His parents divorced and he went with his mom to Spokane while his dad remained in Kellogg. Mike visits his dad each summer, and a few years back one of his friends, longtime KWAL radio personality Paul Robinson, suggested a camp in the Silver Valley.

Hollis, who still lives in Jacksonville, arrived in Spokane last week for the annual camp he does at CV. He’ll assist at another camp in Pasco before returning to Florida in mid-August.

Hollis set Greater Spokane League records for most field goals in a season (11) and a career (19) back in his day. Low grades forced him to go to junior college in Wenatchee. He eventually transferred to Idaho.

He went on to the National Football League where he kicked for eight years before his career was stopped short because of back injuries. He kicked for Buffalo in 2002 and finally retired following the 2003 season when his third back surgery wouldn’t allow him to kick competitively anymore.

Hollis, 41, settled in Jacksonville where his son, Mason, 18, goes to college. His daughter, Mishaela, is 15. He divorced two years ago.

Son isn’t following in Dad’s career footsteps.

“He didn’t get into place-kicking,” Hollis said. “He tried it for a little while. He was pretty good at it, but there were guys (on his high school) team that could kick it a little farther. He got discouraged and just didn’t pursue it.”

His business is in its sixth year and continues to grow.

“We’re expanding,” Hollis said. “We’re in the middle of developing instructional videos which we hope to have online soon. This year we added four or five new camps and hopefully they’ll become annual camps.”

While Hollis was conducting the camp at CV last week, Idaho-bound and former CV kicker Austin Rehkow was on one end of the field working with his dad. Hollis said Rehkow has attended three or four camps in the past.

“It’s very cool that he’s going to Idaho,” Hollis said. “If I had the opportunity to work with him on a regular basis he’d be a more consistent kicker. Obviously, he has the power. He does some aggressive movements at times. I hope he tries to control his power and channel it into a more consistent technique. He knows what I teach.”

In seven years with Jacksonville, Hollis scored 764 points, and in Buffalo he had 115. His career numbers included 200 of 250 field goals and he missed just three of 282 extra points.

Hollis misses being around the NFL, but not playing.

“Playing, it was a different story,” Hollis said. “Mentally and physically it was pretty tough with my back the way it was at the end of my career. It was tough to maintain focus.”

Hollis doesn’t plan to relocate to Spokane any time soon.

“I’ve kind of become a beach bum,” he said. “I live 10 blocks off the beach. I’d much rather be warm than cold. By coming back every summer I get the best of both worlds.”


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