SSHS grad ready to take over family legacy of kicking for CSU
Steamboat Springs — Joe DeLine, a 2016 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, plans to continue the family legacy. However, he also plans to take a somewhat rebellious approach.
His father, Steve DeLine, was one of the best kickers in Colorado State University football history and had a brief stint playing in the National Football League. Joe DeLine’s older brother, Ben DeLine, also starred as a kicker for CSU after graduating from SSHS in 2008.
“It kind of seems like a family tradition,” Joe DeLine said. “It’s always been a goal of mine and a dream. So it’s nice to know that I have a chance to make that dream come true and follow the family footsteps.”
DeLine will attend CSU — this was never in question. He also hopes to play football for the Rams, much as his father and brother. But, if he does, he sees himself as a punter and kick-off specialist, a step away from the family’s legacy of place kickers.
“I got into every school I applied to, and that’s just CSU. I didn’t really have any desire to go anywhere else,” DeLine said. “Playing football here at the high school, I played a lot of positions, and one of them was punter. So I got to focus on that, and I realized I could actually excel at that. So, I focused a little more on that rather than kicking.”
DeLine was a two-sport star for the Sailors, playing football and lacrosse. In football, he led the team with 609 rushing yards and was fourth on the team in tackles. But where he really shined was when he was allowed to kick, blasting kickoffs through the end zone, crushing punts and even nailing a 50-yard field goal as a senior.
Genetics? Maybe, but DeLine gives a lot of the credit to simply growing up surrounded by two other talented kickers.
“It’s always just been around me. I guess that helps develop my ability to kick and punt,” DeLine said. “It definitely helps that I’ve practiced it since I could walk. I’ve been around my dad teaching my brother when I was just a little kid.”
Despite the family legacy — Steve DeLine is fifth in CSU history with 212 points and first with 46 made field goals from 1983 to 1986 — Joe DeLine is far from guaranteed a roster spot with the Rams. He’ll move to Fort Collins — the city in which he was born — in July to start taking classes and take part in the football team’s summer camps. There, he will battle it out for a chance to play for second-year head coach Mike Bobo.
“I want that day to come very badly. I don’t even know what emotions I’ll go through when that happens,” DeLine said of getting to play for the Rams. “It’s a mixture. I’m definitely excited and nervous.”
DeLine, the youngest of three children — the middle child being sister Erika, also a CSU grad — plans to major in construction management.
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Construction on Sleeping Giant School has moved mostly inside as the roughly 100-person crew continues the push to complete the building by the end of summer.