Clayton’s Garrett Biel journeyed halfway across the country after his senior year at De La Salle High School to become the placekicker for Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Since that summer of 2009 Biel has been the regular kicker for the Tigers finishing up his final year this fall holding no less than five school records.
Biel categorized his senior season as “bittersweet. I got to spend this past summer working out in San Antonio with NFL player (Seahawks, Cowboys, Cardinals and Chiefs) and Trinity alumni Jerheme Urban. Even though our 7-3 record was not good enough to make the playoffs it felt good to win our conference and beat all the teams that recently left the conference. I did not have as many field goal attempts  this season as I have in the past.”
Although Trinity is in NCAA Division III the school is not immune from the recent trend sweeping intercollegiate sports of conference realignments. Eight schools left the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in the past two years making for a weird 2012 season when the Tigers played many former conference foes.
The team was 28-13 during Biel’s four years, making an NCAA playoff appearance last season and winning a pair of SCAC championships in 2011 and 2012.
Among the Trinity records Biel set were most fields goals in a game (4 vs. Rhodes in 2009) and a season (17 in 2009), PATs in a game (8, once each in 2011 and 2012), single-season field goal percentage (89.5% in 2009) and career field goals made (39). He is second in school history in career PATs (137), career PAT % (93.8%) and single season PAT % (95.8% in 2012).
He was conference special teams player of the week four times this year, twice as a junior and once each as a freshman and sophomore. His incredible freshman year, when he led all D3 kickers in field goals made, earned him third team Division III all-American honors and preseason all-American team for 2010.
“My overall experience with Trinity football was great. As my coach [Steve Mohr] says, it’s not easy dedicating so much time for a Division III sport where there is less spotlight. You truly are playing for your teammates and your love for the game. I’m not going to lie, it was not an easy decision giving up soccer and adventuring off into the football career but I felt that it was going to be a new experience and that I had much to learn from football. I did. The team itself was very close knit. I was welcomed in as a freshman by the entire team and that really boosted my confidence on and off the field.”
Biel was one of a dozen players not from Texas in the 140-man Trinity football program. “Right away being in Texas got me familiar with addressing adults as ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am.’ My relationship with the coaches and faculty seemed more of a friendship than a superior. The friendships I have made throughout my time here are ones I know last forever.”
Biel continued, “Of course it was nice breaking records but more importantly it felt good to be a key contributor to the team and our success. Time really flies by but overall playing football has taught me skills that will help me in the future such as time management, representing yourself well, being respectful to others, being sociable, being a leader and holding myself accountable.”
He will graduate next December after spending next summer studying abroad. Biel is a marketing major with a double minor in communications management and entrepreneurship.
Biel came to Trinity after two magical years in football and soccer. He helped De La Salle High School to the 2007 California State Championship and a runner-up finish in state the following year after winning a pair of North Coast Section football titles. On the soccer field he scored the Golden Goal for coach Brian Voltattorni in overtime of the NCS finals as a senior for the Spartans. Ironically the kicker placed that winning goal into the net with his head. It was the second NCS soccer crown for Biel in his three years on DLS varsity.
As a member of the Diablo FC 90 and DVSC Black Pearl 90 soccer team he was a part of three State Cup, US Club Soccer Regional and USYSA Far West Regional championship squads. His team reached the US Club Soccer National Cup IV finals in Florida when he was just 14. Then in 2008 the team went to the Western Regionals in Hawaii and in the semi-finals Biel had to make a penalty kick in the shootout to help his team advance to the Regional finals which they won and then on to the National Championships in Arkansas for his long-time coach John Badger.
Biel had a chance to be a camp kicker next summer with the San Francisco 49ers but he’ll be studying in Europe. “I am definitely still working out, still kicking and giving private lessons so maybe in two summers you will hear about me making it big!”
Reprinted from Dec. 7, 2012 Clayton Pioneer