WOODLAND PARK — Two months ago, Woodland Park junior placekicker Alex Vonderharr had never touched a football.
"I wanted to try something new and just decided to try kicking," Vonderharr said.
Head coach Joe Roskam, is thankful he decided to come out for the Panthers program in 2020.
"The first day he came out, the ball just sounded different," Roskam said. "That kind of thud made everyone turn their heads."
Adopted alongside his sister Emma by Mark and Juli Anna Vonderhaar from Bulgaria last year, the transition has understandably taken time.
"It has been pretty fun to watch him go from a shy teenager to an amazing big brother," his mother said.
What hasn't taken long to get adjusted to is the 18-year old former soccer player's ability to kick a football.
"When we adopted him we had no idea, he was just our kid so that has been pretty cool," his mother said.
Nicknamed the "Bulgarian Bomber" by teammates, Vonderhaar was 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts this season in limited opportunities.
"We've had kids from Italy, Germany, Spain, never like this," Roskam said.
His last and longest attempt, a 51-yard blast at Englewood last month. The second-longest kick in Colorado high school football this year.
"It's really exciting, I want to go for the state record next year," Vonderharr said.
Continuing to work tirelessly on his classroom studies and his newly founded American citizenship, Vonderharr is embracing every challenge with the same tenacity.
"At first it was hard, I didn't speak English or know what they were saying," Vonderharr said. "Now it's pretty good, I have more friends, do more stuff and get out of the house."
The hope is CHSAA grants Vonderharr one more season, to show potential colleges his leg and mind are ready to live this next dream.
"I just want him to know the options he has available to him and if he works hard he can pretty much do anything he wants," his father said.