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Kicker scouts foe's grass, then decides to mow it

A high school football coach says he doesn't plan to discipline his senior kicker who mowed the lawn at an opponent's field last week.

"You know how kickers are," South Grand Prairie coach David Thompson said of senior Eric Smith's antics.

Smith, who likes to check out opponents' home fields, said he noticed on game films that the grass at Weatherford High School's stadium was unusually high.

So, when he made the hour-long drive last Wednesday night to kick a few practice field goals in anticipation of the teams' game two nights later, he brought along his mower.

Smith, unbeknownst to coaches on either team, then shaved a small strip of the field from where he thought he might have to kick.

"I knew they'd probably be mad," he said, "but I didn't think I'd get caught."

Smith, accustomed to kicking on the artificial turf of South Grand Prairie's home field, said the shorter grass would enable him to kick better.

Weatherford High School coach David Bourquin said the field was trimmed between the 10- and 40-yard lines, between the hash marks, on each side of the field.

Smith said he cut a much smaller patch between the hash marks, maybe 10 yards long.

"I was going to cut the whole thing, but the sprinklers came on," he said.

Smith said a couple of Weatherford players and several joggers watched him practice his kicks at the stadium. He pretended to leave but waited until almost everyone was gone before emerging with a push lawnmower.

Bourquin, who noticed the cut grass on Thursday, said a few people who had seen Smith mowing the lawn just thought somebody was working late.

As for Smith, he kicked a 42-yard field goal and two extra points, but Weatherford won the ballgame 33-23.

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