May 17, 2002
KICKER KENT BAKER SIGNS FREE AGENT PACT WITH AF2 NORFOLK NIGHTHAWKS
DeKALB, IL ---Have
kicker, will travel.
In essence, thats
the odyssey of former Northern Illinois University placekicker-punter
Kent Baker who joined his third Arena Football League franchise in 14
months by signing a standard free agent contract with the Norfolk Nighthawks
on Thursday (May 16). The signing was announced by Norfolk public relations
director Mike McCaffrey.
Baker (Terre Haute,
IN / North) will be activated by the league in time for the Nighthawks
AF2 encounter with the Cape Fear Wildcats this Saturday (May 18) at 7:30
p.m. (EDT) at the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC.
Norfolk---coached by Tony Missick---enters the contest with a 1-4 won-lost
record in the AF2 Atlantic Division. Cape Fear stands 3-2 to date this
season. The Arena League regular season lasts 18 weeks and into July.
The 6-foot-1, 189-pounder
hooked up with the Norfolk franchise with the help of his older brother
Kraig Baker who handled the kicking duties at the University of Michigan
and in the Arena League. Last season, the Northern Illinois-produced Baker
was a free agent performer with both the AF2 Iowa Barnstormers and the
AFL Detroit Fury.
a banner season as a senior for Huskie head coach Joe Novak in 1999. The
soccer-style kicker tallied 71 kick-scoring points and made First-Team
All-Mid-American Conference. A four-year Northern Illinois letterman,
he ranked in six MAC stats categories in his final season---No. 1 in league
field-goal percentage (.857 on 12-of-14), No. 1 in PAT kick percentage
(1.000 on an NIU single-season record 35-of-35), No. 4 in kick-scoring
(71 points), No. 7 in field goals (1.09 per game), No. 9 in overall scoring
(6.5 ppg.), and No. 9 in punting (38.2 yards-per-punt average).
As a senior, Baker
wound up No. 44 in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1-A
field goals (1.09 per game) and booted two 49-yard field goals---which,
at the time, represented the second-longest three-pointers in the Huskie
Record Book behind All-Century PK Vince Scott who executed a 51-yarder
vs. Toledo in 1983.
Baker produced a career-best
13 kick-scoring points (three field goals and four PATs) vs. Ball State
in 1999 and converted on 6-of-6 placement boots vs. both Buffalo and vs.
Kent State the same autumn. During his first three Northern Illinois campaigns,
he concentrated on punting before doubling up as No. 1 placekicker
as a senior. Baker set two school records with 257 career punts for 9,724
yards---for a 37.8 ypp. average in 44 appearances during 1996-99.
As a prep, he lettered
in football (2), baseball (3), and soccer (4) at Terre Haute, IN, North
(For further information,
please contact Mike Korcek) -30-
(For further information, please contact Mike Korcek) -30-