School: Shawnee Mission West
When it came to selecting the top kicker/punter of the decade, Jared Witter was a fairly easy choice. His list of accolades was nearly as impressive as many of the top dogs on the All-Decade Team. It should also be noted that Witter played slot receiver and backed up Blake Lawrence at the quarterback position as a senior—so he wasn’t just featured on special teams.
Witter was a four year starter as a kicker and punter, but didn’t get a ton of notoriety until his junior season. During the year he helped SM West to a 9-2 record with his ability to pooch punt, and consistently kick touchbacks. He was named First Team All-Sunflower League as a Kicker and Punter, and he was also First Team All-State Class 6A.
As a senior Witter’s impact grew. During SM West’s 13 game season in 2006, Witter converted 65 of 67 PAT tries while also recording 65 touchbacks on 83 total kickoffs. Witter’s most memorable game came against Lawrence Free State in the Sub-State round of the playoffs.
SM West’s starting quarterback Blake Lawrence had suffered an injury which was preventing him from playing both offense and defense. Witter, who had started zero games at quarterback for SM West to that point in time, was slotted as the starter—much to the surprise of the Free State football team when SM West’s offense took the field for the first time in the game.
Witter played well in the first half completing three of six passes for 36 yards, and keeping SM West in the game at 14 all. Lawrence played the second half of the game at quarterback, but Witter’s contributions weren’t done yet. SM West led 21-14 in the fourth quarter (and if you saw Lawrence Free State’s offense in 2006, you would know that a seven point lead was not going to be hard for the Firebirds to overcome), when they were faced with a fourth down at the Free State 27. Witter’s number was called and he delivered on a 44 yard field goal that would have been good from 60. The score put SM West up 10 and virtually sealed their ticket to the state championship the next week (SM West lost 21-14 to Hutchinson in the title game).
Witter was named First Team All-Sunflower League at the Kicker and Punter positions, and First Team All-State Class 6A following the season, both for the second year in a row. He was also named First Team All-Metro Sports at the Kicker position. After graduating Witter went on to play at Pittsburg State, where he has been the Gorillas starting kicker since his freshman season.