Looking at a map, if you scan to the northwest part of South Carolina, you will come across a town known as Anderson. In this South Carolina town is a 3-acre piece of land where countless hours were spent kicking a football. As of 2016, Anderson has a population of 27,544 people; one of those is 2018 UK commit Chance Poore.
Early on, soccer was the sport of choice for Poore. According to his father, Lewis Poore, Chance began playing soccer at the age of seven. Five years later football entered the picture.
“When he was twelve he started kicking a football,” said Lewis Poore. “He would always hang out at Clemson, which is where he met Spencer Benton, who was kicking for Clemson at the time. Benton saw the talent he had and told me he would work with him some.”
Training with Benton provided Poore a great opportunity to learn from one of the best the ACC has ever produced. Benton owns the record for the longest field goal in ACC and Clemson history with a 61-yarder vs. Ball State in 2012.
Poore quickly fell in love with kicking a football, which led to his father installing a goal post in their back yard. Most parents install a basketball hoop for their son, not a goal post, but Lewis Poore realized how good his son could be.
“When he started to get pretty good at the age of 12, I installed a goal post so he could practice at home after school,” said Lewis Poore. “We had 2-3 inches of snow here and he would make a path to go practice his kicking. I have a video of him kicking in the snow.”
As Chance got bigger and stronger, he outgrew the goal post in the backyard and began practicing on the high school field.
“I had to install a net because we were losing footballs into the woods,” said Lewis Poore. “Pretty soon he began kicking them over the net, so they opened the high school field for us.”
When Chance went out for the team in middle school he played several positions, including tight end. He flashed great potential catching the football, however, few middle school kids have the leg strength to kick field goals, but Chance connected on two during a game. He also drained a contested 40-yarder during practice.
Entering his freshman year of high school, Poore decided to go out for the team at Westside High School. He made the team, which was no surprise to Lewis Poore, but the level he would be playing shocked his father.
“He came in from tryouts and said I made the Westside team,” said Lewis Poore. “When he told me he made varsity as a kicker, I couldn’t believe it. He was only 13 years old.”
Since that day, Poore has developed into the No 1 kicker in the state of South Carolina and the top kicker in the entire 2018 class, according to prokicker.com
Poore earned the starting kicker job as a freshman and it has belonged to him ever since. During his freshman season, he consistently made 30+ yard field goals, including this 33-yarder.
Poore has worked tirelessly to improve his mechanics and his form, as many people have had a hand in his development, but his kicking coach, Kenny Gordon, deserves a ton of credit. According to Lewis Poore, Gordon meets and works with his son on a regular basis and has really helped elevate Chance to the kicker he is today. You can see Gordon working with Chance in multiple videos on Instagram.
After combining weight training with Coach Gordon’s one-on-one workouts; Poore quickly improved his accuracy and strength. During his sophomore season, he sent this 44-yard field goal through the uprights vs. Lexington.
Entering his junior season, Poore continued to put in hours of work, determined to catch the eye of big time college coaches. He put together an outstanding junior season, where he successfully made 16 of his 19 field goal attempts. One of the top moments of his season was a 48-yard field goal vs. TL Hanna.
Following a strong junior season, Poore began receiving interest from major programs, but no full ride offers were extended. That all changed when Kentucky coaches made a trip to see what the fuss was all about. Poore went through 17 pressure kicks in front of Coach Hood, making 14 of them. The only three he missed was a 48-right, 50 straight on, and a 53-left.
Poore lives a short distance from Clemson University and the University of South Carolina isn’t far, however, neither program offered what the Wildcats did, which was a full ride. When Poore made the trip to Lexington, he fell in love with the facilities and what the Wildcats had to offer. Before the visit concluded, Poore decided Kentucky was the place for him.
Poore and his family have always been a Clemson family, but the day he committed to Kentucky, the family traded in their Clemson orange for Kentucky blue.
“I put all my Clemson stuff in the basement because right now we are blue and white,” said Lewis Poore. “I fly a Kentucky flag and we got Kentucky tags.”
The Poore’s are already a step ahead and a plan is in order for when Chance arrives in Lexington. The family debated purchasing a Lexington condo to live in during football season but instead chose an RV. The RV will become a fixture at UK football games beginning next season and Wildcat fans are already welcoming the Poore’s to the Wildcat family.
“My twitter is blowing up every day with messages from fans saying how glad they are to have Chance at Kentucky,” said Lewis Poore. “As soon as he committed they started following me because they know I’m his dad. I had never seen so many devoted fans in all my life.”
Poore is not only the place kicker for Westside but he also handles punting duties. Punting was a major issue for the Wildcats a year ago, so it will be nice to have someone who can do both and he does it very well.
Just dropping some 5 second hangs ?? pic.twitter.com/dhNnasgHMD
— Chance Poore (@chance_poore16) April 9, 2017
Fans still have a while before Poore puts on a Kentucky jersey, but his father said the plan is to sign during the early signing period in December. In the meantime, Poore will continue to work tirelessly to get better and be the best he can be when he lines up to kick inside Kroger Field.