Hansen and Basanese work out
together for the first time. 1/8
When Justin Basanese kicked
for the Valley Christian football team, the scene was much different.
Home games were still played on real grass, and #1 rankings were hard to
come by. In those days the Warriors could not seem to beat Oak
Grove to win a MHAL championship. Justin helped kick the VC team into
the CCS playoffs with a 39 yard field goal as time expired in 1999 over
Piedmont Hills. The game was, 'winner goes on, loser goes
home'...and the Warriors marched into CCS where they lost in the final
For his game winning field
goals (5 in his career, 2 in CCS games) Justin was awarded San Jose
Mercury News 1st Team ALL CCS. This was the first time in
school history a kicker won this award. Justin achieved a family
goal by winning the award after a 'Basanese' had held the starting
kicking job at VC for 7 straight years (John then Jeremy, then Justin).
Justin also starred for the VC soccer team, helping them to successful
seasons in the Santa Teresa Division.
Flash forward to 2005. Ben
Hansen, the star kicker for this years CCS Champion VC football team,
just collected the same award. An accomplishment that is impressive
considering the 120+ schools in CCS! A power kicker, Hansen puts
the ball 7-8 yards deep in the end zone consistently on kickoffs.
He only missed two field goals, one of them from 63 yards!
As both of these kickers
were taught by VC soccer assistant coach John Basanese, they met
together Sunday for a little kicking practice. Ben is preparing
for a college career, while Justin's is now over. Hansen is
looking at a few colleges, one of them Stanford. His options are
also great on the soccer side.
During the practice, Ben
transitioned to kicking off the ground for field goals as they do in
college. The switch proved easy for him as he went kick for kick
with John Basanese all the way to 61 yards! After making his 61
yarder, from the ground, Hansen missed just short on 63.
John Basanese commented on
the session afterwards. "I thought it was neat to have these two out
here. They are my two best pupils and it was cool having them
together. They don't really know each other, but they share a
common bond. Depending on who you talk to, one of them is the best
kicker in school history."
Basanese has high praise
for Hansen. "He's unbelievable, he was going kick for kick with
me, and the kid is 17 years old! In my opinion, Stanford would be
crazy not to take him. His leg strength is first rate!"
Only time will tell where
Hansen goes. From the looks of it, he can go as far as he wants.
Stay tuned to find out what school he picks, and perhaps more