Our Neighbors.... Jeff Lindemood

Esko Lincoln High School senior Jeff Lindemood is one football player who often changed into his game uniform in a car and rarely understood anything said or drawn in a "chalk talk."...

Jeff Lindemood receives a hug from his mother, Stephanie.

Esko Lincoln High School senior Jeff Lindemood is one football player who often changed into his game uniform in a car and rarely understood anything said or drawn in a "chalk talk."

And he's done quite well.

Lindemood was the kicker for the Esko football team for the past three seasons and although he often had soccer and football games on the same days, he never missed any of them. He even made it to both practices on most days.

"Sometimes I'd drive right from one game to another," he said.

It was worth it for Lindemood, who enjoyed the camaraderie of both team sports, except for maybe once during the season, when he scored a game-winning goal, and had to leave moments later.


"It was sort of a lucky goal, so it wasn't too hard to leave, but I kept getting all these text messages and phone calls afterward while I was standing on the sidelines for football," he laughed.

Lindemood has tried most of the organized sports available in the area. Along with soccer and football, skiing, running, baseball and basketball top the list. His first love is soccer, however, a game he's played since age 5. Football held his interest, too, but when he played the sport in eighth grade, he said he realized it wasn't really "for him."

That is to say, any sport in which Lindemood must throw or catch is particularly tricky due to his poor depth perception.

"It's bad," he said. "So, when you have a dark brown ball and it's getting dark out, it's tough."

Lindemood also played baseball from a young age, with little hitting success, until he finally hit a home run in seventh grade.

"I hit it and then I was done," he said.

Today, Lindemood wears a contact lens in one eye, which largely helps correct the perception problem, but since both soccer and football are played in the same season, he could still only really participate in one of them, or so he thought.

"I still wanted to play football somehow," he explained. "So, I heard the coach, Bill Hudspith, needed a kicker and I just went to practice one day and he said I could kick."


Never mind that Lindemood had never kicked a field goal before.

"I'd only kicked the football around in my yard for fun with my brothers and friends," he said. "Nothing like kicking one during a game."

So, Lindemood practiced, but when the time came for the team's first game of the season, he was close to panic.

"That first season I was shaking," he remembered. "I don't think I've ever been so nervous in a sport."

In that first kick, he didn't launch the ball as far as he would have liked, but he was able to boot field goals several times that year without much training.

After sophomore year, Lindemood attended a kicking camp in Minnetonka, Minn., and that's when he learned the ins and outs of kicking in football.

"I felt much better about my role after that," he said.

The last two years on the team have been fun and although Lindemood doesn't track his kicking statistics, he thinks he did pretty well.


"There's some pressure because [the kicker] has one job and I thought I should be able to do it perfectly," he said. "Then you miss and it's just a bummer."

When he did score field goals, Lindemood said the cheering was great.

"I never really knew if it was all for me," he said. "I think it might have been that our team now had seven points on the board."

Now that the season has wrapped up, Lindemood has turned his attention to the many other activities in which he participates, like music.

He plays the violin and has played with the youth orchestra in Duluth. With the high school band, Lindemood plays the baritone saxophone.

"We like to play for younger kids at school events and we've played for Grandparents Day at school," he said.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Lindemood can also be found in the kitchen, working on his highly-sought-after sweet potatoes and especially his banana cream pie.

"I like being creative, especially with desserts," he said. "After college someday, I would like to open my own restaurant."


He's already compiling family recipes.

"I ask my grandma for her secret recipes and sometimes, she even tells me," he said with a smile.

In addition to all that activity, Lindemood will focus more on his studies, too. He has a 3.6 grade point average, which he credits in part to his parents Jeff and Stephanie Lindemood.

"My mom especially has engrained the words, study, study, study," he said.

Lindemood would like to major in engineering and business in college, but is undecided yet about where that will take place.

"I'm looking for a school where I can play soccer and focus academically," he said. "It may be one of the schools in our region."

His older brother, Colin, attends St. Scholastica and plays soccer there, so that might be an option for Lindemood, too.

"It's fun because I'm a year apart from Colin, who is 18, and our younger brother, Clayton, who is 16," he said. "It's been cool because we all do so much together."


He's also hoping to continue his football kicking career.

"University of Minnesota Duluth is appealing because they dominated this year [in football]," he said. "I'd love to once make a game-winning kick, too."

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