The Weed
The Territory Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2004

Gary Cismesia assumed he would have a year to sit back and watch incumbent Xavier Beitia chase after several school kicking records. Instead, he’ll begin his own attempted assault on the record books four games early. FSU coach Bobby Bowden announced this week that Cismesia would replace the inconsistent Beitia in the lineup starting Saturday against Duke.

Gary Cismesia, the former two-time all-state selection and All-American out of Lakewood Ranch, says he’s ready to seize the opportunity for the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday against Duke.

While kicking in Doak Campbell Stadium on Tuesday, Cismesia drilled a 60-yard field goal on his third attempt as part of a friendly competition.

“I’ve been doing the same routines as I have been doing all season,” he said.

“I’m just a little more excited. The ball was coming off my foot a lot better [Tuesday]. It was the best I’ve kicked in awhile. It comes with the excitement.”

Cismesia, nicknamed “The Weed” because of a childhood growth spurt, got the call after Xavier Beitia missed three of his four field goal tries in last weekend’s 20-17 loss at Maryland. Though Beitia ranks second in school history in points scored, the unsteady senior has connected on just 12-of-21 tries this season.

“I was a little surprised about because there are only a few games left,” Cismesia said of his promotion.

“But not really because a couple players thought I was going to get in. I’m just happy I have the chance.”

Bowden said he hated to stray from his plans to redshirt his strong-legged freshman but the situation necessitated him making a decision that he “had been putting off."

“We have waited and waited and waited,” he said. “And we wanted to redshirt him if we could, but it really was not fair to wait any longer. How will he do?; I don’t know. He hasn’t been under fire but we have no choice.”

Cismesia made a name for himself at Lakewood Ranch as a soccer talent turned invaluable placekicker who would routinely boot kickoffs five yards past the endzone, even hitting the crossbar on a few occasions.

Perhaps his most memorable prep moment came in 2002 when he hit a 52-yarder in a driving rainstorm to give Ranch a playoff win over Ft. Myers as time expired.

Cismesia still owns the school record with a 57-yard field goal he hit as a junior.

Saturday, he’ll kick in front of a sellout Homecoming crowd at Doak Campbell that will likely have the Seminoles’ upset loss to the Terrapins (rather than the 1-7 Blue Devils) on their minds.

“I’m going to try and block everything out,” Cismesia said. “I’ll be back home kicking on an empty football field with my dad and not let anything bother me.

“I’m confident that my snap and hold is going to be there and the line is going to block and I’m confident in my ability. I think I’ll be able to knock it through just like I do out here everyday.”

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