ROELAND PARK, Kan. -- There's no place like the front row for catching good high school football.
Oddly enough, that's exactly where Bishop Miege (7-0) looked recently, when Stags coaches found themselves with a key roster spot to fill.
Like many high school athletes, Bishop Miege placekicker A.J. Brady, longed for a chance to get on the field. However, Brady says he didn't see his chance coming right away. As the 2017 football season opened, Brady was a rowdy fan in the school's student section, one of five young men known for painting their chests in school colors, each of them wearing one letter from the name "MIEGE."
Photos from the school's newspaper staff show Brady, dressed in paint, pants and a fishing hat, wearing a huge letter G across his chest.
However, the senior's status changes when the Stags' starting kicker broke his collarbone in the team's opening game against Blue Valley. An assistant coach with the program saw Brady leisurely kicking field goals in a gym class.
"One of the coaches just asked if I wanted to try out for the team, and I said, 'Why not?' It's a rare opportunity to get to play varsity football," Brady told FOX 4 News on Wednesday.
Miege coaches were impressed, especially considering soccer was the only kicking experience Brady had, outside of pee wee football as a fifth grader.
"I was pretty surprised. It's a great honor. I never expected this to happen to me," Brady said.
The numbers prove Brady is the best guy for the job. In six games, the senior is perfect for field goal attempts (3/3) and he's missed only two extra points all year (27/29.)
"I like that he's been able to come onto this team so well. It's like he's been here all four years. He's adjusted so well. He just has a good attitude about everything," Jack Burns, Miege center, said.
"You watch him on Friday nights, and he's the kid having the most fun out of everybody out there. He's real thankful for the opportunity," Jon Holmes, sixth-year Miege head coach, said.
Brady says he's having the time of his life, but he hasn't forgotten where it all started -- in the bleachers.
"Being up there is pretty cool, but being on the field is a lot cooler," Brady smiled.
Brady says he knows football will end soon, and when it does, he's headed for the United States Marine Corps. He's already committed to report for boot camp at Camp Pendleton in California this coming summer. In the meantime, his team is scheduled to meet another unbeaten team, DeSoto (7-0) on Friday night.