FOOTBALL: Mason Hoffer kicking it with teammates on popular social media series
So far this season, Mason Hoffer is 4-for-4 on field goals and 14-for-14 on extra points. But that’s not always what he’s most known for around the Bemidji State campus.
BEMIDJI -- There are six perfect kickers remaining in Division II football this year. But there’s only one Mason Hoffer.
“College football can be a stressful time,” Hoffer said. “You’ve got meetings, lifting, a very busy schedule. If you can take two minutes a day to have some fun, and then show people that we’re having fun, it means a lot to me. I’m trying to make people happy.”
So far this season, Hoffer is 4-for-4 on field goals and 14-for-14 on extra points for the Bemidji State football team. But that’s not always what he’s most known for around campus.
“Mason’s worked extremely hard,” BSU head coach Brent Bolte said. “He’s one of those seniors who chose to come back -- he’s a super senior -- and he’s just a great kid. He does the social media (series) with Kicker’s Korner. He’s just an infectious type of personality.”
“Kicker’s Korner” is a weekly video that Hoffer hosts, which goes out on the team’s social media outlets. He interviews teammates with lighthearted questions, often coordinates an opening skit and ultimately encourages fans to attend and support at the next game.
“I’ve been a social guy my whole life,” Hoffer said. “My dad kind of came up with the name. He was like, ‘You should call it Kicker’s Korner and you should interview people. I see other people doing stuff like that, so why don’t you?’”
With that lightbulb moment, Hoffer approached the athletic media relations office to see if it’d be possible. Assistant director Collin Boyles, who takes the lead on the football team’s media relations, was quickly on board.
“I was all for it,” Boyles said. “We tried it and had fun with it. It was simple enough, and it’s easy to come out here on a Tuesday afternoon and put it together on a Wednesday morning. And it gets views. It’s fun.”
Understandably, Hoffer loves watching his creations take off.
“I really like, every week, looking at the views,” Hoffer said. “Once I see 1,000 views or whatever on it, I’m like, ‘Holy, people are actually watching this.’”
Kicker’s Korner began in 2018, Hoffer’s sophomore season. It returned in 2019, continued virtually through the pandemic in 2020, and has returned for the “farewell tour” this fall.
The latest episode features offensive linemen Conor Kovas and Carter Fredericksen, with Hoffer’s questions ranging from kicking competitions to seafood hankerings.
Boyles records the video in one take -- maybe two -- because it’s a “low-budget production,” as Hoffer puts it. Boyles then spends about 15-20 minutes to put the video together and throw it online.
“I used to get kind of stressed out in the past, and now I’m out here just having fun,” Hoffer said. “I’ve only got X amount of days left in my competitive sports career. … Once you get into the game, having fun is a lot more (enjoyable) than acting nervous for it.”
Beaver Bash on tap
Bemidji State is next set to battle the other Beavers of the NSIC, as Minot State comes to town for a 2 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 2, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Although BSU (2-2) has lost two in a row, Bolte is keeping cool ahead of the start of the NSIC North schedule.
“Winning cures a lot of things, you know what I mean?” he said. “… I’m putting the past in the past and relying on the future, and I think the kids are doing the same thing. We’ll be ready to go come Saturday.”
Minot State enters 0-4, losing by an average margin of 48.5 points per game.
Hoffer’s number is expected to be called plenty -- whether for field goals, PATs or both. And then it’s right back to Kicker’s Korner next week.
“I just want to keep having fun with my boys,” Hoffer said. “Every day is a new opportunity, and I just want to get W’s as a team. I want everybody to have fun and look forward to the next day.”