By Dave Dyer
---- — In retrospect, Plymouth State junior kicker Rob Giles is happy that he never kicked a ball at Pinkerton Academy.
However, back in high school, he wasn’t too pleased that he never got a chance.
Giles tried out for soccer as both a freshman and sophomore but, both years, failed to make the cut. Then, as a junior, he decided to try kicking for the football team, but that didn’t work out, either.
“I had to work to get my driver’s license, so I’d miss a little practice time and the coach wouldn’t go for that,” said Giles, who was a four-year varsity tennis player at Pinkerton. “I didn’t like it but I said ‘what the heck.’”
At that point, Giles thought his kicking dreams were over. But good friend Anthony Moore convinced him to try out for the Youngsville Hawks, an independent team coached by his father Charlie Moore, well known on NESN as “The Mad Fisherman.”
Giles agreed and wound up kicking for a team that went undefeated.
That might have been the end of Giles’ kicking because he went to New Hampshire Tech, which doesn’t have a football team. Then after getting an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice, he took a year off.
“I ended up as a substitute teacher, a chef, I cleaned cars, I did demolition — I did it all,” he said.
But he missed kicking and, he said, “Moore kept pushing me to go back to school, telling me that I should be kicking field goals in college.”
Moore, in fact, contacted Plymouth State coach Paul Castonia, who gave Giles a chance to prove himself.
Not only did Giles prove himself, but he earned the starting job as Plymouth State’s placekicker, beating out last year’s starter and getting off to a remarkable start.
While Plymouth State has struggled (1-5), Giles has been a model of efficiency, converting 3 of 4 field goal attempts, with a long make of 42 yards, and hitting 14 of 15 PATs. And, his 61.7 yards on kickoffs ranks first in the conference.
“He’s really done a great job all the way around,” said Castonia. “I would have no problem sending him out there anytime to try a 45-yarder.”
Naturally, Giles is pleased with his progression, but he’s hardly content. He has bigger plans.
“I want the glory of the big kick to win the game,” he said. “I haven’t seen it here yet, but I see it coming.”
And, even if Giles doesn’t kick that classic kick, he’s thankful for the roundabout way he ended up kicking at Plymouth State.
“It ended up being a blessing not kicking at Pinkerton,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to play for Charlie Moore and that made all the difference.”