Kicking his way into the record books

Roldan Alcobendas’ perseverance stamped his place in EWU history


Bailey Monteith

Senior Roldan Alcobendas attempts a field goal against Washington State on Sept. 15. Alcobendas is one of six kickers in the nation to make every field goal attempt this year.

By Taylor Newquist, Sports Editor

No EWU kicker has ever scored more than Roldan Alcobendas, tallying 263 points in his career.

The sixth-year senior joined the Eagles from Camas High School, where he was recruited from the soccer team his freshman year of high school.

Camas head football coach Jon Eagle told the Easterner in a phone interview that Alcobendas would be out on the field with his father and a bag of balls kicking long after everyone else had gone home from practice.

“I’m not surprised to where he’s gotten,” Eagle said. “I would be driving by during the summer and he would be out there with his dad. We would have to tell him to stop kicking because his foot would be black and blue.”

In his senior year of high school, Alcobendas suffered an ACL injury in the spring soccer season and was redshirted upon arriving at EWU. Then in 2014, after earning the starting kicking position and playing in four games, Alcobendas reinjured the same knee he had in high school. He spent the next two years in rehab before returning for the 2016 season.

“You work so hard for something and it’s stripped away from you in seconds,” Alcobendas said. “Being mentally tough, but also being surrounded by people who love and care about you is probably the biggest factor as to why I did come back again.”

Alcobendas said that when he was able to make a field goal in a game again was a surreal moment.

“It really means something to me because I did it for myself,” Alcobendas said.

This year Alcobendas is perfect on all nine of his field goal attempts, and 35 of 36 on extra points (one blocked). He is one of six kickers in the FCS to make every one of their field goals.

“I’m a big fan of the spotlight,” Alcobendas said. “The perks of a kicker is you’re either the most loved player or the most hated, and fortunately I haven’t had that many screwups in my career.”

Since 2016, Alcobendas is 28 of 39 on field goal attempts, and 154 of 157 on PATs.

“A lot of people shy away from the pressure,” Alcobendas said. “But I take on the challenge and I take it upon myself to execute my job how it should be done.”

This year he has also taken on punting responsibilities. His average of 48.3 yards on 25 punts would lead the nation if he had enough attempts to qualify (26 attempts required).

“I did punt in high school but that was like four or five years ago,” Alcobendas said. “I just had to quickly learn how to punt again. With a field goal there are so many factors that could play into a make or a miss, but punting it’s pretty much just you out there.”

He broke the EWU record for furthest punt last week with a 78-yarder against Weber State.

“If you can somehow kick the ball 70 yards and still get the returner down that’s a heck of a deal,” EWU special teams coach Heath Pulver said. “He hit a couple [punts] in windy situations last year in a backup role, so we knew he could come in and function.”

Despite EWU’s loss to Weber, Alcobendas was named the Big Sky special teams player of the week for the second time this year. He hit field goals of 31 and 27 yards, scoring the Eagles only points, and averaged 60.3 yards on seven punts.

Alcobendas earned his other player of the week honor against Montana State when he broke the EWU points record. It was on the same field he reinjured his knee in 2014.

“It was a proud, proud moment to watch him put the ball through the pipes and get the record,” head coach Aaron Best said. “We didn’t mention it before or during the game, but after the game we talked about that. What an accomplishment for him after everything he’s overcome in six years here, but it feels like about 10 years.”

Alcobendas will be an instrumental piece of this EWU team if they want to right the ship and return to the FCS playoffs. When the Eagles’ offense is stopped he has been able to either flip field position, or put points on the board.

The Eagles are on a bye week, and will return to action on Oct. 27 against the University of Idaho. It will be the Vandals first trip to Cheney since rejoining the BSC this year. •