JACKSONVILLE – Abbas Shoraka maybe had a bit of an edge.
When he arrived at EverBank Field on Sunday, August 25, for a chance to win season tickets, it wasn't as if he was unfamiliar with the situation. He had to kick a field goal, something he had done before.
He just hadn't done it lately.
Shoraka, who said he kicked in about eight games at Parker High School in Jacksonville, in 1999, overcame what he said were a few nerves and more than a little rust to convert a 35-yard field goal and become one of the Jaguars fans to win a pair of season tickets at Kix 4 Tix event at EverBank Field.
Shoraka called the experience, "Awesome."
"I'd never been on the field before, so that was cool," he said. "To get a chance to kick a ball through those uprights – it might not ever happen again, so that was really cool."
Shoraka, 32, said he hadn't kicked a field goal in a long time, but he prepared by kicking a while at a local park before the event.
"I appreciate everything the organization did for everyone down there," he said. "It was a cool event. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a really good idea."
Shoraka, who also played soccer for St. Leo University, was among 13 people who won a pair of 200-level season tickets at the first event of its kind at EverBank. About 300 people attended the event, which awarded two season tickets to each person who converted from 35 yards.
All season-ticket holders were invited, as well as a large number of fans, including Jerry Vojtush, who did not make a field goal – and in fact, he said, didn't really come that close – but was nonetheless named the Super Fan/Enthusiast for the event.
"I loved it," Vojtush said. "It was great. I was one of the worst kickers there, that's for sure, but I thought it was a real neat event for them to do. It was really, really cool."
Shoraka, for his part, had a suggestion for next year's event.
"I talked to one guy and I said, 'Maybe next year you can do a trip to London if you can hit from the 50," Shoraka said, laughing. "That might not be a bad deal."