Soccer to Special Teams: Brent Shannon’s Path to the Gridiron


Keeva Linton

Eyes on the Prize: Kicker Brent Shannon focusing in on the uprights.

Many know senior Brent Shannon for his fearless leadership as star and captain of the region-dominating Dub soccer team. However, he is switching out his shin pads for shoulder pads, kicking off his football career as the Dubs placekicker for the 2022 football season. 

Shannon has soccer in his veins. Playing since he was four, kicking comes naturally to him. Even with his iron leg, the transition from kicking the soccer ball to the obscure, egg-shaped pig skin through the uprights was a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, the dedicated athlete took the challenge head-on. “The kicking motion and power come naturally to me. The hardest part was learning the basics of a whole different sport,” said Shannon. “It is hard to take the training wheels off, especially when covered head-to-toe in pads.”

To help Brent make the seemingly-natural but difficult transition from the pitch to the gridiron, he enlisted the help of All-region kicker Andrew Swann from Pace Academy, who very successfully made the transition his freshman year and recently received an offer to play football at Washington and Lee University. “While soccer surely helps, it is still very hard to make the transition effectively,” said Swann.

Despite the difficult transition, Brent worked hard, caught on quickly, and started to really start to turn heads after nailing a field goal from 55-yards out. This feat allowed him to compete with another Dub soccer star, Aidan Pierce for the starting position. “Competing with one of my teammates is strange but we do it in good faith,” said Brent. “At the end of the day, the most important thing is the kicker that gives the team the best opportunity to win is out there.” 

While the physical side of kicking is difficult, the hardest part is between the ears (especially with the added pressure of a packed hill full of your peers). But the pressure is something Brent has grown accustomed to, playing for the Dub soccer team, one of the most heavily supported teams in North Atlanta. Despite this Brent says the pressure when kicking gets to him a little more. “Having a big crowd for soccer is different. Once we start playing I can zone out the noise and focus on the game,” said Brent. “But when I’m kicking it’s harder for me to stay locked in”

Brent’s progress this summer allowed for him to dress out for North Atlanta’s first rendition of Friday Night Lights of the season, and in the home scrimmage against Westminster, he got his opportunity in the 2nd quarter to kick a 32-yard field goal (a task that came easy to him in practice). Despite his usual success, a bobbled snap led to Shannon coming up just short. It was not the debut he wanted, but the Dubs had his back, supporting him after the miss. Fans and teammates alike are looking forward to his progress and success throughout the rest of the season. Go Brent and Go Dubs!