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Fountain Central senior Brett Sheldon, who has made four field goals and 26 extra points, practices his kickoffs Wednesday as the Mustangs prepare to play the Seeger Patriots on Friday night. Sheldon, who was born with three-finger hands on arms no longer than a regulation football, holds the school record with a 48-yard field goal.

Brett Sheldon is your typical high school football player.

He drives his car a little too fast at times.

His teammates pick on him and he gives it right back to them.

He likes to flirt with girls.

And, he looks forward to every Friday night on the football field.

But, Sheldon was born with three-finger hands on arms no longer than the length of a regulation football.

The Fountain Central senior kicker has not let it hold him back as he has made four field goals — including a school-record 48-yarder in the season opener against Southmont.

“It’s an honor to be on this team,’’ said Sheldon, as the Mustangs are 5-0 and rated No. 4 in Class 1A. “I just want to do my part and help this team win.’’

That was evident during Wednesday’s practice as Sheldon played safety on the scout team defense and held a blocking dummy during a wide receiver’s drill.

“He is not just a kicker, he helps us out in a lot of ways and he is really good team leader,’’ Fountain Central senior quarterback Rodney Carver said. “If he had full arms, he would be one of the best players on either our offense or defense, no doubt about it.

“He is an inspiration to everyone.’’

Carver was one of Sheldon’s friends who convinced him to try out football.

“I started playing soccer in the fourth grade, and then my friends talked me into kicking when we were in the sixth grade,’’ Sheldon said. “I made a few extra points that year, and I decided to attend a Purdue camp the next year.

“I met Clay Rush (former kicker for the Indiana Firebirds) and he was a kicker in the arena league. He has been working with me ever since.’’

First-year Fountain Central coach Curt Trout admits having a weapon like Sheldon is a luxury in Indiana Class 1A football.

“His ability to kick the ball into the end zone on kickoffs usually helps us win the field position battle,’’ Trout said. “Every offense is better when it is working with a short field like we have been able to do at times this year.

“The credit for that goes to our defense and to Brett.’’

The only regret that Trout has is that Sheldon cannot catch a pass because of his shoulder pads.

“He can catch without the shoulder pads,’’ Trout said. “We can throw to him all the time when we are practicing just in helmets and shorts.

“If his shoulders pad were not in his way, we would have thrown him a ball or two this year to have a little fun.’’

Trout said the Mustangs might look into having Sheldon carry the ball one time.

“I can also throw a tight spiral,’’ Sheldon added.

Actually according to his teammates, Sheldon can do just about anything — including driving.

“Yeah, I’ve been driving for about two years now,’’ he said.

“He’s actually a really good driver,’’ Carver said. “We ride with him a lot.

“At first, we were worried for him because he was right up against the windshield. He has a special, extended steering wheel now, and he sits back like a normal driver.’’

In his two years, he has not had a ticket, even though he was pulled over once.

“I was going a little faster than the speed limit,’’ Sheldon said. “But, the officer let me off with a warning. He is a local guy, so he knew me.’’

Sheldon, whose license indicates he has special conditions, admits he enjoys seeing the reaction from the public.

“People stare at me all of the time when they see me getting out of the car,’’ he said. “I basically look at them, smile and then laugh.’’

It’s the same reaction that Sheldon has had when opposing teams have sent players at him.

“We have had people that have tried to blindside me all of the time,’’ he said. “I’ve heard stories that opposing coaches have told their players to hit me.

“I think it’s kind of cool, because they are scared of me and want to take me out of the game.’’

Sheldon hopes to continue his kicking career in college as he has received letters of interest from Valparaiso and Purdue.

“I’m going to Valpo’s homecoming game on Sept. 30,’’ he said.

Trout said his work ethic is going to carry him to the next level.

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