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AFC Divisional Playoffs Raiders vs. Dolphins
SXP2001010602 - 6 JANUARY 2001 - OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, USA: Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski aims at a hold by Shane Lechler (9) in the second quarter 1/06/01. Janikowski hit two field goals as the Raiders shut out the Dolphins 27-0. rw/ts/Terry Schmitt UPI
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Sebastian Janikowski (Polish pronunciation: ; born March 2, 1978, Wałbrzych, Poland) is a left footed Polish placekicker who currently plays for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders. He is nickamed The Polish Cannon because he is considered to have one of the strongest kicking legs in the league, and leads the NFL in kickoffs for touchbacks. He currently lives in Castro Valley, California. Together with Tom Dempsey and Jason Elam, he holds the NFL record for longest field goal at 63 yards.

Sebastian Janikowski was born an only child to Henryk and Halina Janikowski in Wałbrzych, southwest Poland. His father was a professional soccer player, and moved to the United States in the early 1980s in the hopes of reviving his career. Years after emigrating, his parents divorced and Henryk married an American citizen. Left at home with just his mother, Sebastian began to excel at soccer himself. In 1993, 15-year-old Sebastian earned a spot on the Polish under-17 team.

His father's marriage to an American meant that Sebastian could legally emigrate to the United States. He spoke very little English, but learned quickly by taking a three-week night class and by watching television. Janikowski played in only 5 games for the Orangewood Christian soccer team, but led them to the Class A State Championship game by scoring 15 goals, where they lost to Lakeland Christian in penalty kicks (3-2). Now living in Orlando, Florida with his father and stepmother, Sebastian joined the Orlando Lions, an under-19 soccer club coached by Angelo Rossi. Rossi was also the soccer coach at Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, and he convinced Henryk that his son would be better off there. Henryk agreed but was unwilling to move, so Sebastian moved in with Rossi's family.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sebastian Janikowski."
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