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Kicking cancer | Frontier HS football player dedicates senior year to cancer research

Frontier High School kicker Tanner Neal is dedicating his senior football season for helping kids with cancer. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

In the game of football, kickers are often forgotten and seldom win the MVP.

Despite this, kickers are an important part of the game and oftentimes can be the difference between winning and losing.

At Frontier High School in Bakersfield, kicker Tanner Neal is trying to do more than win games. He's dedicating his senior season to childhood cancer awareness and research, and he's attempting to use his boot to raise money for the cause.

The idea is simple: Neal is trying to get people to pledge money for every field goal, extra point and touchback he kicks this year.

His goal is to raise $2,018 in honor of his graduating class of 2018.

Neal is doing this through the Kick-It Champions program, which was founded by All-State Ohio football player Matt Colella, who battled cancer in middle school.

Since then, many athletes at the high school and college level have participated and dedicated their seasons to children with cancer.

The charity has raised nearly $5 million to date.

Neal became aware of the program at a football camp this summer and quickly jumped on board.

"I've always had a big heart and always wanted to help out and do anything I could to help and thought it was a great way," said Neal.

Neal has already raised more than $140 before the first game of the season.

The student-athlete is looking forward to the season and thinks the added bonus of knowing each successful kick means getting a little closer to his fundraising goal will make him a better kicker.

He said seeing the ball go through the uprights is normally such an amazing experience that the charity aspect will be a cherry on top.

People can donate a flat amount to Neal's cause or can pledge a dollar amount per field goal, point, extra point or touchback.

Last season, Neal successfully kicked six field goals, 17 extra points and forced four touchbacks.

Here is a link to Neal's Kick-It fundraising page.

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