LINDALE — His Belgium-raised father having been a semi-pro soccer player in Europe, Lindale’s Luc Swimberghe grew up on the pitch.
That experience led to a love for kicking and punting on the football field, which parlayed into a college scholarship.
On Wednesday afternoon, Swimberghe signed a national letter of intent to continue his career at Sam Houston State University. The Eagles senior is thrilled to continue his gridiron career at the two-time reigning NCAA Division I FSC national runner-up.
“Signing a scholarship is a big weight off my shoulder,” Swimberghe said. “(It’s great) knowing that I have a home next year and I’ll be part of a championship-caliber team, and hopefully we will win the national championship next year.”
Swimberghe, who stopped playing soccer earlier in high school, enjoyed an impressive two-year career. His booming field goals always kept the Eagles in striking distance, plus he averaged 39.2 yards per punt.
“We’ve had some really good kickers in our program before, but to get a scholarship is an incredible thing,” Lindale coach Mike Meador said. “Luc has done an incredible job of going and selling himself and going to camps. He’s just been an asset to our program; when you have a kicker who can kick it out of the end zone, makes field goals, punts and has knowledge of the game.”
Sporting an estimated 50-yard range on field goals, Swimberghe is the son of UT Tyler marketing professor Krist Swimberghe and flight attendant Candace Swimberghe. Someone who’s fascinated with numbers and budgeting, Swimberghe plans to major in accounting and minor in marketing.
He plans to get into the financial sector after college, but isn’t leaving out the idea of possibly playing in the NFL someday.
Sam Houston State, which plays in the Southland Conference, fell 39-13 to North Dakota State in the national championship game last month in Frisco. The Bearkats fell 17-6 to North Dakota State in the previous season’s title game.
Swimberghe looks forward to potentially competing for more national titles at the Huntsville-based school. Being a kicker, he’s grown accustomed to pressure situations.
“When you step on the field everything just blocks out,” he said. “But you know whether you make it or you miss it, coach is always going to have your back. You just block everything out and focus on putting the ball through the uprights.”