Daily Herald
Naperville kicker Nendick scores big with Slaughter
Special to the Daily Herald
Published: 6/25/2009 12:00 AM

Being a kicker in indoor football might not be the most glamorous job, but it's a necessary one.

Fortunately for the Chicago Slaughter, coach Steve McMichael's team has the best kicker in the Continental Indoor Football League with Chris Nendick of Naperville.

The Slaughter (13-0) plays the Fort Wayne Freedom (7-5) for the CIFL Championship on Saturday at the Sears Centre.

Nendick, a former star at Northern Illinois, has put together a record-breaking season for the high-scoring Slaughter, setting records for most point-after attempts made in a game and most point-after attempts made in a season.

Even after setting those records, Nendick knows he's just one part of the machine that makes it all happen.

"The number one key (to the extra-point success) is the blocking up front," Nendick said. "I've got an Arena Football League snapper (Brandon Eaton), and I've got the best holder that I've ever dealt with (DeJuan Alfonzo). It's not necessarily me - it's just I'm the final piece."

Kicking extra points is not as easy as Nendick claims, however. The goal posts in the CIFL are only nine feet apart as opposed to 18 feet in college football and the NFL. Still, Nendick prefers the calm of kicking indoors.

"When I go outside, sometimes I joke around and say, 'Wow, those goal posts are pretty wide,' " Nendick said. "The good thing about indoor football is it's indoors. I played at Northern Illinois University and the wind got pretty brutal at times. It's just nice to kick indoors where things are climate-controlled."

The most unheralded part of Nendick's game is something that most people don't notice, and it's the one thing he says is his favorite part of the game.

"To be honest with you, it's got to be hitting and recovering all of those onside kicks," Nendick said.

The Slaughter has recovered seven of eight onside kicks attempted during the regular season.

"Fortunately I've worked hard in the off-season, and when I was working out with the (Chicago) Rush, they told me (onside kicking) was going to be the number one thing that was going to get me into the league.

"Everyone can kick off, everyone can kick field goals, but onside kicks are the thing that is going to get you in."

Nendick also takes comfort in knowing that his high-powered offense will give him lots of opportunities to score.

The Slaughter blitzed the Wisconsin Wolfpack with a 28-0 second quarter on its way to a 63-19 victory last Saturday to earn a berth in the title game.

If you go

Chicago Slaughter (13-0) vs. Fort Wayne Freedom (7-5)

What's at stake: CIFL championship game

When: 7:05 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates

Tickets: Prices range from $8 to $40 and available through Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, Sears Centre box office and chicagoslaughter.com or by phone at (847) 310-3190

Last time: Slaughter beat the Freedom 56-41 at Fort Wayne on April 18

How they got here: Slaughter beat Wisconsin Wolfpack 63-19; Freedom beat Marion Mayhem 49-40

Source: chicagoslaughter.com