LANCASTER – Seven steps back and three to the left on kickoffs. Three steps back and two to the left on field goals and extra points. It’s a routine Antelope Valley High sophomore placekicker Brett Lloyd works on about an hour each day at practice, walking both lengths of the field by himself with a tee in hand. Truth be told, as a freshman on the varsity team last season with no organized football training, Lloyd was unaware such a routine existed. “I learned that at a kicking camp over the summer,” Lloyd said. “That really helped me.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Despite no formal training, Lloyd made the varsity last season, relying entirely on his soccer background and what he’d learned from watching NFL kickers on television. He made an immediate impression, kicking a 39-yard field goal in his first game in the Antelopes second game. “I was like ‘Oh my God,’ that kid’s got quite a foot on him,” said Antelope Valley defensive back/holder Dustin Vong, who’s now a senior. Lloyd has since emerged as one of the Southern Section’s most proficient kickers. He’s among the Southern Section leaders with 32 extra points in 35 attempts and has made 4 of 6 field-goal attempts. His teammates have recovered two of his three onside kicks. The Antelopes (8-3) will take any advantage they can get from Lloyd when they look to upset No. 2-seeded Dominguez (10-1) of Compton in tonight’s Div. III quarterfinal at 7:30 at Dominguez. “It’s huge having somebody like that in the playoffs,” Antelope Valley coach Jon Fleming said. “I wouldn’t hesitate to use him between the 35 and the 45.” Lloyd said he’s kicked field goals from as far as 60 yards out in practice by himself when nobody else was watching. He once kicked a 57-yarder in practice teammates saw. “I think I could do better, but that was pretty good,” he said sheepishly. Lloyd attributes his powerful leg to his background in soccer, which he’s played since he was 4. He’s the goalie on Antelope Valley’s soccer team. “There’s not that much difference,” he said of kicking footballs compared to soccer balls. “It’s just that the football’s up higher up (on a tee).” Lloyd, a 5-foot-10, 225-pound athlete, originally tried out for the freshman team as a lineman, a position more suited to his build. He’d never kicked a football until the freshman coach asked him if anyone on the team knew how. “At first I really didn’t know I if I could kick, but they finally let me,” Lloyd said. “It was kind of weird knowing I could kick that far.” His powerful leg quickly generated some buzz on the Antelopes’ coaching staff that got him a varsity call-up a week into the season. “I was really surprised by his composure, and he’s gained a lot of composure since then,” Fleming said. Lloyd has also shown himself to be a capable open-field tackler. He made a key tackle that saved a touchdown in last week’s 45-22 first-round playoff victory over Leuzinger of Lawndale. If not for his value on the varsity, Fleming said Lloyd would probably be a starting linebacker on the junior varsity. Although it’s too early in his career to project his upside, Fleming said Lloyd is among the best kickers he’s seen or coached. He said Lloyd will start getting some looks from colleges if he continues to produce consistently next season. “He’s got a powerful leg and he’s going to get even better when he learns to fully extend on his kicks,” Fleming said. “When he learns to follow through he’ll be even scarier.” Gideon Rubin, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!