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Friday, May 6, 2016

Arnold earns ProKicker.com honor

Friday, August 27, 2010

(Photo)
South Putnam's Seth Arnold was recently named the No. 2 long snapper in the nation. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- A simple act of friendship has turned into a national honor for South Putnam senior Seth Arnold. Arnold has been named the top long snapper in the Midwest and the state and is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Arnold is a member of the National Honor Society and National Honor Roll and is currently a team captain for the Eagles. He earned his honor from The Ray Guy/ProKicker.com Kicking Academy, but it started with him helping out a friend.

"Jake (Gould), our kicker, basically came to me in sixth grade and said hey I'm going to practice kicking and I need somebody to snap, so I didn't really know what I was doing," Arnold said. "Then I started getting into it and I really liked it.

"He was going to those camps, so I thought I'd try it out. I went to one and did all right, and then I went to another one and did better. I kept going to them and kept moving up the rankings," he said.

When asked what it takes to become a good long snapper, Arnold chalked it up to putting time in on the field.

"Practice," Arnold said. "I'm not going to say I practice every day, but about every day you need to get some snaps in. Especially when I'm playing both ways -- it gets really tiring and you really have to focus when you're snapping or you'll have a bad one."

Watching Arnold go through his set up, one notices it's a series of repetition. He said it all about routine -- grabbing the ball a certain way, extending your legs and using your whole body.

Attending the Ray Guy/ProKicker.com Kicking Academy has afforded Arnold the chance to improve his skills, while getting top-notch instruction.

"Basically they take you from approaching the ball, to finishing with your palms out and your thumbs up," Arnold explained. "Anything in between -- your grip, leg extension, follow through with the head -- they drill you. We do skills footage, which is they take you and they film you, then you go in a room and they'll break it down in slow motion and can tell you exactly what you need to work on. Then by the end of the camp they'll take you back through and redo it and show you what you've improved on. It's really nice."

Moving up in the rankings isn't easy. A long snapper must snap at a net and accumulate points. If the snapper hits the hole, part of the hole or the net, they get points. If they miss, they get nothing. Also, the speed of their snap counts toward their ranking. Arnold said the points put you up on the list, but it's the speed that sets players apart.

His head coach, Troy Burgess, said the initiative that Arnold has shown in continuing to enhance his skills is indicative of his senior's work ethic.

"It's really has been something he has done on his own," Burgess said. "Like I said, I'd love to stand here and say I taught him everything, I sent him everywhere and when he makes the big money take me along. I really didn't. It's something he's done and he's taken the initiative to do it.

"But it says something about him, too. He's our student body president also. That's just the type of kid he is," he added.