Noah McGough hasn’t started his sophomore year of high school yet, but already he has his eyes on college. He first wants to earn a spot as varsity kicker on his campus at Jesuit College Prep, but his real goal is to kick for a Division I college program.
Every day he gets a little closer.
McGough recently returned from Los Angeles, where he attended Chris Sailer’s Undergraduate Invitational Kicking Camp. Sailer is one of the nation’s gurus for training and ranking football kickers, and McGough attended his camps in Dallas and Las Vegas to qualify.
“College coaches trust Chris,” explains McGough. “Chris sees a whole bunch of kickers, then he ranks them all based on what he’s seen.”
McGough won a competition against other kickers from the class of 2025 and earned 4.5 stars to move from 16th to 6th in a national ranking. If he’s still in the top twelve next year, he’s likely to receive offers to play at DI colleges. He gives credit to Sailer’s camp, of course, but also to a chance meeting at Lake Highlands High School.
It was 105 degrees as McGough was working on his technique at the LHHS B Field when a stranger came up and began offering helpful tips. Turns out the fellow was Micah Knorr, former NFL kicker for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He recently became the new head soccer coach for girls at Lake Highlands High School, and he was working out at the school when he ran into McGough.
“Knorr really poured into me,” McGough recalls. “The next day he spent two hours working with me. He took videos and sent me text messages with tips about form.”
McGough also works regularly with Morgan Lineberry, a coach with Kohl’s Kicking Camp, which McGough also attended.
“Morgan helps me kick drastically higher and farther. He’s amazing,” McGough says.
Lineberry and Knorr helped him get to Sailer’s invitational camp, and the valuable lessons he learned there go beyond mere technique, McGough explains.
“The whole first day was learning to kick in pressure situations. I learned how to deal better with nerves, which helped me a lot. Now I know how to work through my nerves so it doesn’t hurt my performance, and I can use these techniques any time.”
During his evaluation, Sailer praised McGough for his determination and for his progress after just one year playing football. He’s mostly played soccer, and he’s in Denmark and Norway this week for a tournament with his Dallas Texans team.
McGough isn’t sure where he’ll end up playing college ball, but he loves watching games on TV with his youngest brother, Eli.
“We try to watch as many games as we can. I mostly pay attention to the kickers and punters, but Eli watches all of it and even loves to watch rerun games. We always go to the Red River Rivalry game to see UT play OU, and we go to a few SMU and Cowboy games. If we’re out of town, we try to catch an NFL game there.”
Right after Noah won his kicking competition, he and his dad, Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough, flew to St. Louis to support middle brother Cooper. It was a big sports week for the family, as Cooper’s Dallas Texans team won the national championship for his age group.
The Jesuit football team plays Lake Highlands Sept. 16 at Wildcat Stadium.