Andrew Gruesen: Kicking Footballs to Kick Childhood Cancer

Andrew Gruesen:  Kicking Footballs to Kick Childhood Cancer

Payton Van Pelt, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

NDA’s senior kicker, Andrew Gruesen, has been the center of sports attention lately.  Twice Gruesen has used his “golden toe” to kick a last-second and overtime long-yardage field goal for a Triton victory.  His charity efforts based on his kicking success have also taken off.  The Tritonian’s Payton Van Pelt quizzed the football player about his kicking project.

Q: What is this charity?

A: My charity works through the “Kick-It” foundation, which also partnered with “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” this year. Both of these foundations work together to raise money for cancer research, specifically childhood cancer. The money raised goes toward research grants for scientists searching for a cure.


Q: How exactly does your donating work?

A: All donations go through my Kick-It page at  People can pledge any dollar amount they choose to donate per point that I make this year, or they might choose to donate a set dollar amount. The most common amount per point has been around $1 or $2 dollars.


Q: When did you first get into this charity?

A: These past two summers I was lucky enough to be invited to Kohl’s National Invitational Scholarship Camp for kickers. Kick It had a booth at the camp where I was able to learn all about what they do and how I can help.


Q: Do you have any significant connections to the charity?

A: I don’t have any significant connections to the charity, but it was so easy to set up I figured why not. It’s really a cool thing to use even a high school football platform to do some good.


Q: Do you feel any extra pressure when kicking because of this?

A: I wouldn’t say this adds any pressure; however it is definitely in the back of my mind before every kick. Thanks to so many generous donors, even a single extra point can raise a decent amount of money.


Q: How do you feel after you do end up scoring?

A: It’s a really sweet feeling after each successful kick. I usually turn to Jack Allen (our holder) and say “Well, that’s another kick for cancer,” and we share smiles. It’s great to see hard work from the offseason pays off for reasons bigger than myself and my team.


Q: Do you have a set goal you want to donate?

A: My goal for the season is $5,000. So far the fund is just over $1,500 after four games.


Q: Do you think this charity has positively affected your kicking?

A: I definitely think so. The motivation to succeed for the sake of your teammates is one thing, but the motivation to succeed for something as big as childhood cancer? That’s a whole new ball game. Keeping the charity in the back of my mind definitely helps to keep me focused and confident.


Q: Is there anything else you think the reader should know?

A: Please donate! Even pledges for less than a dollar can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to contact me with any questions and to help spread the word!