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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 to Palma.

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 importantly...what sport.