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Published: July 04, 2009 10:16 pm      

FOOTBALL: Kern makes pit stop back home

By Nate Beutel
Niagara Gazette

Brett Kern and his wife, Tiffany, have fallen for Denver. But once in a while, a little taste of home never hurts for the Grand Island native.

“I love hanging out with family and friends when I come back, but it’s that food that you’ve had all your life that you get cravings for,” the Denver Broncos second-year punter said with a chuckle recently. “I miss the local food — chicken finger subs, wings, beef on weck… you’ve got to load up when you come back.”

On a recent trip back to Western New York, Kern also found time to get some golf in with his father, Niagara Power general manager Cal Kern. The duo played one of Western New York’s finest public courses, Ivy Ridge in Akron, with the younger Kern firing an even-par 72.

“I’m pretty sure my dad would rather not have me tell you what he shot,” Brett said.

Cal was proud to have Brett make a guest appearance at a recent Power game, though. He signed autographs for fans, along with former Major League pitcher Joe Hesketh.

As of this week, though, Kern returned to Denver where he will continue individual training sessions in preparation for the beginning of training camp later this month. Kern, who was second in the AFC with a 46.7 yards-per-punt average last season, will be battling for his position with undrafted rookie Britton Colquitt of Tennessee.

“Competition is expected in the preseason,” Kern said. “It’s a matter of going out there and performing your best every day. With a year under my belt, I’m much more confident in my abilities and approach to the game.”

Kern added that new coach Josh McDaniels has sparked the team with his intelligence and leadership during organized team activities this spring.