Off to the west the scorching summer sun beats against the open practice fields as the Boulder Creek varsity football team orderly marches from the locker room towards their home for the next couple hours.
Physically speaking, five-foot-eleven, 225-pound senior James Carolan doesn’t necessarily stand out as he emerges from the group and walks towards the center of the field softly tossing a football with the intensity of someone ready to get better. He takes a few moments to stretch and quickly works up a sweat loosening up his arms with a nearby assistant coach.
Within a few minutes the ball whistles through his legs like it’s being shot out of a cannon. One after another, each seemingly gaining more and more velocity.
Carolan is a specialist. So fluent at his long-snapping craft he’s committed to Bowling Green State University to continue his academic and football after finishing up his senior year in Anthem.
“Although they’re in a smaller conference in Division I I liked how they won and I liked the team atmosphere there,” Carolan told Sports360AZ.com during a quick break in practice. “I loved the campus. I fell in love with it the moment I was there.”
— James Carolan (@james44_c) June 20, 2016
When hard work meets opportunity you reach a success story like Carolan’s. A dedicated teammate and leader for head coach Anthony Casarella, the bull-strong anchor on the line can be spotted late at night getting extra reps under the school’s north Valley stars when he’s not working with his specialist coach Ben Bernard four times during the week and Sunday, as well.
“He’s more than a leader, he is thee leader on this team,” Casarella said without hesitation. “We have something that we call a hard hat that we carry to every practice, to every game, to every weight room session. James carries that hard hat. He was chosen by his teammates for that.”
Great showing at the University of Memphis specialist camp today. Won the snapping competition! pic.twitter.com/VZpsKQFGBw
— James Carolan (@james44_c) June 16, 2016
With long snapping, Carolan believes the foundation of his success is through technique, muscle memory and consistent repetitions. It’s not surprising he isn’t bothered by the monotony of the workouts which he’s been honing since his freshman year at Boulder Creek.
“Yeah, it is repetitive,” he explained flashing a wry smile. “But at the same time not every snap is exactly [the same] I’d say. I always try to keep it like that perfect snap…I’m a perfectionist so I like to keep it perfect.”
So perfect it earned him a D-I college scholarship.
Just like that…in a snap some might say.