Lakewood athlete is top punter in the state

Sophomore Nate Sosa becomes Class 4A top punter in Florida.


Destini Gonzalez

Sophomore Nate Sosa lines up to kick the ball for kickoff


The Lakewood football team once again has a standout player in its ranks. Sophomore Nate Sosa has been named First Team Class 4A punter, meaning he is one of the best punters in the state.

“I have been putting in weeks of non-stop work, and I finally felt like I was seeing the results I wanted,” he said.

Sosa said he would spend three hours punting Monday through Thursday during the fall, and then would have a game on Friday. He said he also works with a private punter coach in Tampa to help him get better and stronger.

“I think my need to be a perfectionist is what helped me a lot with punting and football and throughout school,” said Sosa, who found out about the All-State designation in April.

A punter, as opposed to the kicker, is the person on the team who kicks on the fourth down to try and give the defense a good starting position.

Lakewood football coach Cory Moore said is proud of Nate for making the all-state team, but he is not surprised.

“I wasn’t in shock when I heard the news. I knew what he was capable of and the season he had last year showed his great skills,” he said. “I love how Nate carries himself on and off the field. He definitely has a bright future for himself.”

Sophomore Jaden Ledbetter said he and his teammates look up to Sosa, who is always pushing his friends to be great on and off the field.

“Sosa is one of my favorite teammates. … He shows leadership and pushes us and motivates us on the field,” said Ledbetter.

Sosa has two more seasons left in his high school football career, and he hopes to play college football eventually.

Sosa’s parents are extremely proud of him. They have watched Sosa fall in love with football and punting over the past couple of years, and they are happy to see his hard work and dedication is paying off.

“To say proud is an understatement. I’m beyond proud (of him),” Sosa’s father, Dan Sosa-Jones said. “If I could quote Lil Wayne: ‘You’re the best there is, and your best is yet to come.’ Think about that. Let that sink in.”