Just like that, any feeling of guilt or remorse that may have lingered for the past nine months immediately vanished. Not that it was the case for Galbreath, though.

Missing an extra point can be tough to handle.

When it factors into the end of a successful season in the Class 4 state quarterfinals, it is a different story entirely and that was the reality Camdenton senior kicker Luke Galbreath and the Lakers had to live with when they walked off the field at Webb City on November 17 in a 28-27 loss to the defending state champion Cardinals. Galbreath, who made about 90 percent of the 72 extra points he attempted in 2018, proved he was indeed a human.

Nearly nine months later to the day, the kicker lined up for another crucial kick. This time, it was an opportunity to not merely tie but win a game as the Lakers were locked in a thrilling overtime battle with defending Ozark Conference champion West Plains on Friday night. Galbreath lined up and sent the 23-yard field goal through the uprights to deliver a 37-34 win. That kick allowed Camdenton, currently ranked as the second best Class 4 team in the state in the latest statewide media poll, to remain unbeaten at 3-0 so far in 2019 with a signature win over the fifth-ranked Zizzers.

“Missing the kick last year everyone was still super supportive and then it was about the same environment after I made the kick Friday,” Galbreath noted.

“It just felt good to get back in there and nail one for the team and everyone that was there.”

Just like that, any feeling of guilt or remorse that may have lingered for the past nine months immediately vanished. Not that it was the case for Galbreath, though.

“You have two ways to go if you make a mistake. You can go in the corner, crawl up and just quit or you can want another chance and he wanted another chance,” Camdenton coach Jeff Shore pointed out. “To his credit, that is hard to do.

“Really a big lesson, honestly, if you learn not just football wise but life wise that if you have a situation that did not turn out like you wanted it to, his option was to let it mess with him or to come back and attack it. He wanted a shot to kick that ball Friday night so that just says a lot about his character.”

The senior originally came from a soccer background and that is the sport he chose to play for the first two years of his high school career. One day after he and his father came home from a soccer tournament, Galbreath knew the team still had football practice and thought he’d ask Shore for a tryout.

“He (Shore) said I was not wasting my time so I came back and then I just loved it so much- just the brotherhood of the team,” Galbreath recalled. “I quit high school soccer and I just played all football junior year.”

Along with nailing about 90 percent of his extra points, Galbreath finished his first season of kicking the pigskin making two of his five field goal attempts with a long of 28 yards. After the season ended last year, the kicker simply went back to work.

“We just watched film on that last kick we missed last season, built off that and got that corrected real quick,” Galbreath remarked. “My kicking coach Brett Eidson and I just came out here three or four times a week all winter and summer and got after it.”

The senior recalled practicing kickoffs in every situation, kicking field goals from different hashes and even punting as well. He even attended two national kicking camps during the offseason.

One of those camps was the Texas Spring Showcase and the other was the Kohl’s National Scholarship Camp at the University of Wisconsin where Galbreath booted field goals at Camp Randall Stadium in front of the Badgers special teams staff and current kickers on the roster. It is also the same field where 2006 Camdenton graduate Mickey Turner spent his college days playing tight end. Galbreath also previously attended a National Scholarship Camp in 2018.

According to the website kohlskicking.com, Galbreath is the top ranked kicker from the state of Missouri in the 2020 ratings and ranks 80th nationally out of 458 kickers listed in total. He is in a tier of kickers given 4.5 stars out of five and the coach observations on the website noted that Galbreath “has the talent to play at the next level and we see him ready for a big fall.” The website also noted that the senior “will see some big gains with trusting that his technique will hold up in pressure situations.”

Not bad for someone who only started taking the idea of kicking a football seriously as a junior. Galbreath said he is comfortable with consistently hitting field goals from 40 to 50 yards out so safe to say, he was ready to go and hoping for the opportunity when his name was called Friday night to kick the 23-yarder.

“After it went in I looked over at the sidelines and the referees did not give a call yet. Everyone was still looking at it and I was like, ‘It is in!’” the senior recalled with a smile as the sideline was waiting for reassurance.

Galbreath has made both of his field goal attempts so far in 2019 including a long of 36 yards and he has nailed 13 of his 14 extra points. The lone miss came against West Plains and was blocked. Ultimately, it has been a record of consistency so far this year and the only thing that has really changed is the long snapper after senior Connor Thomas unfortunately suffered a season-ending injury in the opener against Waynesville.

“He did a great job, worked hard all summer, shook that off the best he could and attacked that kick Friday night with a vengeance. That ball is still going so just a great job by him,” Shore noted with a smile.

According to maxpreps.com, Galbreath was the top kicker in the state of Missouri in 2018 racking up 78 total points between extra points and field goals. He is currently tied for first in 2019 with 19 points to his name. That bodes well for an offense that was one of the state’s best last season, averaging 46.3 points per game, and currently maintaining that same exact pace.

But the kicker’s value goes beyond placing the ball between the uprights.

Shore also commended Galbreath’s ability to put the ball in the end zone during kickoffs and prevent dangerous returns. Of the 22 kickoffs the senior has attempted in 2019, six have gone back for a touchback (27 percent) and he averages 46.8 yards per kick with an average return of 21.1 yards respectively. Just one kick has been returned for a touchdown and that happened in the game against West Plains as well.

“He is a fantastic kicker and what you don’t realize is kicking the ball in the end zone has been very consistent this year,” Shore stated. “That is a huge deal and you can see when we don’t get the ball in the end zone that is tough and you can kick it to some dangerous people back there.”

So the leg of Galbreath is one Camdenton undoubtedly feels it can rely on. The senior said he feels no extra pressure any time he goes out for a kick because it is the same technique and muscle memory no matter the distance. He is not even worried if he does miss.

“Just like the mindset of a golfer, if you miss something get it out of your head and go back for the next kick,” Galbreath pointed out.

That is exactly what the senior set out to do after that final kick of 2018 as he embraced a heartbreaking end, not letting it define him, and turned it into redemption.