Senior Ryan Zipf kicks competition

By A.J. CROFFORD

As the final football game of the season came to a close last Saturday, Ryan Zipf concluded the four year chapter of his life as the Gator’s kicker.

Over his career here at Allegheny, Zipf left his name in the record books. Zipf is the all-time leader in points scored for the Gators in the history of the program.

“Breaking the all-time scoring record in a program that is a hundred and some years old, it’s cool to be the person to score the most points for Allegheny football,” said Zipf.

Zipf’s first and final field goals would come against the Yeomen of Oberlin. His first was a 27-yarder and final, a 48-yarder.

Head Coach Mark Matlak credits Zipf for his improvement and offensive production throughout his career.

“He’s been kicking for us since his freshman year and I think every year he has gotten better,” said Matlak. “I think we’ve been able to win a lot of close games with him. He has always given us the chance when we are in the red zone to come away with points.”

Zipf has also performed well in several close games for the Gators. During his freshman year, Zipf won the last two matchups of the season with two game-winning field goals in overtime, a 37-yarder against Wittenberg and a 33-yarder to defeat Ohio Wesleyan.

The kicker remembers the back-to-back game-winners as the best memory of his career.

“My freshman year I kicked two game winning field goals in the last two games of the year in overtime,” said Zipf. “So to do that consecutively, I didn’t have another chance like that in the other three years.”
He credited his friend and teammate, senior punter Andrew DeJong, for influencing his football career.

“He has been my best friend on the football team,” said Zipf. “We’ve shared so many experiences being the only kicker and punter for the last four years starting together. Sharing all of the time with him on the sidelines, we’ve developed a strong relationship.”

Concluding their season at 5-5, the Allegheny football team looks to rebuild after losing many senior starters, including Zipf.

“I’m going to miss him,” said Matlak. “You’re talking about a guy that has been consistent for four years and a really good kicker. He’s one of the best kickers in the NCAC. We’re going to really miss that consistent performance.”

After his football career at Allegheny came to an end last Saturday, Zipf had mixed feelings. While he will have time to finish up his degree in Economics, he will also miss the game.

“It was a little bittersweet,” said Zipf. “On one hand, it feels great to be done with football your senior year. You get to relax for the rest of the year, no more commitment there, but on the other hand, you put so much effort into something and now you know it’s your last football game ever.”

An economics major, Zipf will be applying for graduate schools, but his memories of Allegheny football will stick with him.

“I’d like to thank my coaches and all of my teammates for the great memories and the time we’ve spent together,” Zipf said.