Craig Peterson’s moxie is a well-conditioned muscle, one of the many that he’s developed as a professional athlete in the Arena Football League (AFL), Indoor Football League (IFL), and the National Arena League (NAL).
Craig’s moxie has been built by long hours of doing the work and responding to setbacks with a can-do mindset, mental toughness, consistency, adhering to his routine, teamwork, and listening to his trainers and coaches. He believes in competition—against himself and others—accompanied by fun. For Craig, without the fun to accompany the hard work, what’s the point?
Known in football as “Craig the Leg,” he has turned rejection into motivation, a signature trait of Craig’s career, in which he’s won four Arena championships, along with two Special Teams Player of the Year designations and two First Team All-NAL accolades.
Craig doesn’t take well to being told he can’t do something. Such was the case with football; when being told he couldn’t play by his college team’s head coach, he doubled down and tried even harder.
Fast forward the tape reels, and he’s just been re-signed with IFL’s 2023 Champions, the Bay Area Panthers, for the 2024 season as their kicker. He’s also the Specialists football coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Craig took up track and field during his early college years at Herkimer County Community College. What began as a way to get back into shape after burnout from an ultra-competitive high school soccer career became an unexpected rejuvenation to his athletic trajectory. He became an All-American in the decathlon, an extremely gratifying achievement.
His professional football career began in 2014, several years out of college. Without the benefit of playing college football, he single-mindedly dedicated himself to training and tryouts and started his career as a kicker.