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Hopewell gets his kicks in at JMU

Ben Hopewell doesn’t look like the kid who turned heads with his kicks at Wilson Memorial.

Noticeably thicker after a redshirt year at James Madison, Hopewell is battling for playing time at punter and placekicker this summer.

“It’s a clean slate for everybody,” said Hopewell, a 6-0, 185-pound freshman from Waynesboro, who booted a WMHS school-record 52-yard field goal as a junior and was honorable-mention all-state as a high-school senior.

Breaking through at the college level will prove to be a challenge for Hopewell, who said his redshirt year was good not only for getting into the strength and conditioning program but also for getting adjusted to the speed and timing of the college game.

New for Hopewell this summer is that he will try his hand at punting.

“I didn’t realize I was a good punter until I started messing around with it. They want me to give it a shot. “I’m still working on it. We’ll see what happens,” Hopewell said.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

augusta free press
augusta free press