By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Alex Easley didn’t realize it but Monday was the day the Webb City High School senior kicker picked up a nickname.
Easley is the left-footed guy who, if he isn’t going against a brisk wind, usually adds excitement for the Webb City partisans merely by driving the ball into the end zone. ... and leaving opponents looking helpless and relegated to starting out at their 20-yard line.
Now, he might not like it, or even appreciate it, but how can he complain if the moniker is compliments of the head coach.
Ready, Webb City faithful? Ready, Alex?
How does “Easy Money” sound?
Now, if Coach John Roderique likes it, we like it. This is a coach who’s in his 16th year at Webb City with a record of 192-18. So, we like the nickname, even though Coach Roderique doesn’t appreciate us at this point because he doesn’t like to see items about himself when the story is about his kicker.
“You know, ‘Easy Money,’ because he’s so automatic and consistent,” Roderique said.
Easley, who insisted he’s 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, earned all-state honors in helping the Cardinals win a second straight Class 4 championship in 2011. They go for their third in a row at 11 a.m. on Saturday against Jefferson City Helias Catholic in the Show-Me Bowl in St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome.
Landon Baker, another senior, is the Cardinal punter and recovered Easley’s onside kick that launched the Cardinals past St. Louis St. Mary’s last Saturday in a semifinal.
Continued Roderique: “Alex has kicked every meaningful extra point and field goal for us all four years. Chase Capron may have kicked off for us in a couple of those years.
“Literally, Alex has grown up,” Roderique said. “No one has worked any harder. He has a great attitude and is a team player.
“He also excels in kicking off into a specific location. I’m confident on kickoffs that if he isn’t going against a strong wind he’ll put the ball into the end zone most of the time.
“Alex has a kicker’s demeanor,” Roderique said. “He doesn’t get nervous and he doesn’t get too up or down.”
Said Easley: “So far, this has been my best season. I just need to do my job. Every point helps.”
Easley has kicked 75 of 80 extra points and 5 of 7 field goals in scoring 90 points season.
Easley encountered a first in the St. Mary’s game. The Cardinals on two occasions took false starts on extra points in an attempt basically to not lose the football.
Apparently, there was a considerable drop-off on the South end and St. Mary’s personnel were forced to scurry after the footballs after Easley’s booming kicks.
“I’m not sure if they were able to recover all the balls or not,” Easley said.
Easley hasn’t followed a particular kicker in the college or pro ranks.
“Really, I don’t have a hero,” Easley said. “I started out (kicking) in soccer and eventually also turned to football.”
Alex, the son of Amanda and Amos Easley, said he’s interested in kicking in college.
We never did ask if he likes the nickname.