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LEE’ SUMMIT, Mo. — Most people assume the goaltender is the only player allowed to use their hands with the ball during a football game, but that’s not entirely true.
An athlete from Lee’s Summit West High School is shaking up a major aspect of the sport.
Connor Brummet is a senior and central defender for the Titans.
“When I go up, they’re all like, ‘Okay, everybody get in the box. We know what’s coming,'” Brummet said.
And his hang time for a returned throw — an ability used when throwing a soccer ball in play — is nearly three seconds.
“Max is always 55 or 50 yards away,” he said of the distance. He easily throws almost as far even with imperfect technique.
“Athletics is certainly one of a kind. Like I said, I’ve never had anything like it before. Long throws, but nothing like it,” said Chris Brizendine, head coach of the Lee’s Summit West men’s soccer team.
Brummet credits taekwondo for pushing his throwing skills to their current level, as well as a gymnast for an older sister.
“My sister was a very competitive gymnast, and she kind of taught me all the flips and everything she did,” Brummet said.
“I was a little boy. All of us little kids were like doing things in practice that we weren’t supposed to do. I would do a cartwheel here. I would jump forward like that. And my coach told me, “You can do all of that,” Brummet said.
He said it took his teenage years to refine the move, which is legal as long as he has both feet on the ground and his hands come from behind his head.
The novelty has been shared and viewed thousands of times on social media, and it’s happened more often in recent years.
“I just know the general area I want to get it in. I throw it over there. I don’t know if my eyes are open or not. It happens so fast. I could close my eyes,” he said, trying to break down some parts of the technique for FOX4.
Brummet said he hopes to get a spot on a varsity team based on his football abilities. But he also admits that the execution of the movement is always personally exciting.
“Whenever I hear fans behind me when I do it, it’s always like everyone’s saying ‘Whoa,'” he said with a smile.
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