Cassville High School senior Aaron Jamieson thrilled Cassville football fans all season long, booming one kick-off after another into the endzone and bringing the Wildcat faithful to their feet.
This fall, Jamieson set a new school record for touchbacks with 44, which surpassed the record of 42 set by Jamieson's good friend and mentor, Jason Bromley, back in 2005. Six of those touchbacks were achieved during the state championship game.
Jamieson will now be testing his powerful leg at the college level when he plays for the Central Missouri Mules next fall. On Feb. 4, Jamieson signed a national letter of intent to play football for the Division II school that competes in the always tough MIAA Conference.
The Mules went 7-4 last season under Head Coach Willie Fritz. Last Wednesday, Fritz announced that Jamieson was one of 13 players in the 2009 recruiting class.
"We feel really good about the kids coming back on our football team, plus we added some good transfer players to provide some immediate help," said Fritz. "We also signed a great group of high school players."
In the three years that Jamieson served as the Wildcats' first string kicker, he has amassed an impressive list of honors. In addition to his prowess for putting the ball in the endzone, Jamieson also has accuracy and the ability to hit long-range field goals.
During the 2008 season, Jamieson was 48 out of 51 on extra points and had a 38-year punting average. Jamieson is now third in the state championship history with his 42-yard field goal against Cardinal-Ritter. This kick also set a new CHS record for longest field goal.
His performance this fall earned him All-State first team honors. Jamieson also garnered first team All-Conference, first team All-District and All-Area honors for the second year in a row.
Before making the decision to focus exclusively on football as a senior, Jamieson had a very successful soccer career. The three-year starter earned All-District recognition his freshman, sophomore and junior years and was an All-Region choice his junior year, which was the last year he wore a Wildcat soccer jersey.
The decision to not play soccer his senior year was not an easy one for Jamieson.
"I guess it's a matter of being outstanding at something rather than just being good enough," said the very humble Jamieson. "I just decided I needed to change my focus to football."
Playing college athletics was a dream Jamieson hoped one day to achieve.
"I've always wanted to play college athletics," said Jamieson. "I think when I made first team All-District as a junior I thought maybe I could do this. It started to be apparent that maybe my dream could come true when I went to some kicking camps after my junior year and did well compared to other kickers."
Jamieson had interest from a number of other colleges, including Missouri Southern State University, Missouri State University and even some SEC schools, but in the end Jamieson said he liked what Central Missouri offered the best.
"I love their coaching staff, and they have a specific kicking coach who I'll be working with," said Jamieson. "The Central Missouri campus is beautiful and I think it's somewhere I would like to spend the next four years and make it my home. I also found a church I like there as well."
When asked who his role models were, Jamieson said his family.
"My family has been very instrumental in my life, a real constant," said Jamieson, who is the son of Jill and Terry Jamieson, of Cassville. "They encouraged me to make my own decision but to rely on God. My father was also very helpful. He helped me more than I can say."
David Large, Cassville's head football coach, said Jamieson should do very well in making the transition from high school to college football.
"Aaron hasn't ever realized what he can still accomplish," said Large. "Aaron has a natural gift and he's just beginning to realize that strength helps. There's tons of upside to Aaron. He will continue to improve and grow stronger in college."
Large said Central Missouri did an outstanding job of recruiting Aaron and he likes the fact that they have a former All-American, Shane Meyer, as a kicking coach.
"I think Central Missouri will really work to develop Aaron as a player," said Large.
"Aaron's a great kid, and good things happen to good people."
Jamieson said he really enjoys coming out in front of a big crowd and kicking and he wonders what that will be like at the college level.
"It's going to be hard to go from playing in Cassville where there is all this support for football and go to a place where I'm not known," said Jamieson. "I'll have to prove myself again.
"I do want to say that I have appreciated all the support I've gotten from the Cassville community," Jamieson added.