Ryan Beirne bringing versatility to UW-La Crosse football

“I don’t know where I got the kicking from. It just sort of happened.”

Sophomore Ryan Beirne found his calling as West Salem’s kicker in high school, but he’s always looked to help in other areas at UWL.

“I was actually originally recruited as a kicker. Then I mentioned to Coach Schmidt hey, maybe I’ll try a little wideout, and he put me at it, and I’ve never looked back since,” Beirne said.

Beirne hauled in just one pass last year as a freshman, but knocked in 7 of 13 field goal attempts. This year he has an 81-yard receiving touchdown and is 3 of 7 in field goal tries.

This dual-role makes him pretty busy throughout team practices.

“I’ll go with the wideouts when the offense is doing its stuff, and then we have allotted special teams time, and that’s where I get in there and kick the football around a little bit,” Beirne said.

He says switching between roles keeps him level-headed.

“I think it actually helps with my kicking, because I’m not really thinking about making the kick. I’m just like here we go, next thing,” he said.

The kicking accuracy may not be where he wants it yet, but his confidence never goes down.

“I go out there with the mentality that I’m going to make every kick that I try,” Beirne said, “and like you said, some go in and some don’t. You just have to forget about it and bounce back for the next one.

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