[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]Spencer Groner is currently an Indoor Football League placekicker for the Colorado Crush, who tied the IFL record for longest made field goal this season with a 62-yard conversion on May 14th. He is a kickoff specialist with unusually powerful leg strength rarely seen in football kickers. While everything seems to be going well for Groner now, it was not always such a positive journey that brought him to where he is today.

Football was not Groner’s original passion as he had grown up playing soccer at an MLS academy for the Colorado Rapids. Once a promising soccer player, Spencer was an All-Conference and All-State athlete at Chatfield Senior High School in Colorado. Unfortunately, that all changed his senior year of high school.

Spencer was diagnosed with a major heart problem known as Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation that forced him to give up the game he loved. However, he was able to begin his career as a football kicker and punter, which he found much success with despite starting at such a late age.

Groner went on to be a placekicker at Snow College in Utah where he redshirted his freshman year and was a First Team All-Conference player his sophomore and junior year. He also majored in Elementary Education during his time there.

However, his medical problems came back to haunt him at the end of his junior year. A routine check up showed that Spencer’s heart condition was waning and open-heart surgery would be required. Groner traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to one of the best heart doctors in the nation who repaired valves in his heart. Afterwards, Spencer returned home where he began his recovery and also started working as a preschool teacher.

Since the surgery, Spencer has seen some major success. He joined the Colorado Crush of the Indoor Football League who he feels “has been a great team to play for and I have really enjoyed playing for them and the players on the team.

However, Groner is not satisfied just yet. He believes “God has given me a second chance and that helps motivate and push me to achieve my final goal” of reaching the NFL or CFL. He is in the gym constantly and kicks 50 field goal attempts every day to make sure he is in the best possible shape. Groner credits his 62-yard field goal last month to his hard work and determination and believes that it was a great showcase of what he can bring to a team at the next level.

Despite the odds stacked against him, Spencer has managed to triumph over his obstacles and create a name for himself in one of the most competitive industries in the world.

In his free time, Spencer likes to spend time outdoors, especially in his home state of Colorado, by hiking, fishing, and hunting with his friends and family. He is also a self-proclaimed “adrenaline junkie” who is always looking for activities that push him to the limit.

While his football career is what he is most passionate about, Spencer is also currently a preschool and environment teacher for kids ages 4-12.

by Paul Cohen (pcohen1@ithaca.edu)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]