Gorman: A special relationship for Central kicker, long snapper
Where Mitch MacZura might go down as the leading scorer in Central Catholic history, Patrick Phibbs prefers to remain anonymous.
That's because MacZura is the Vikings' kicker and punter, and Phibbs is the long snapper.
“The one big thing I always say is that you don't want to get known,” Phibbs said. “If they know my name, that means I'm doing something wrong.
“I've got to put it exactly where it needs to be every time.”
When he does, MacZura is almost automatic. A three-year starter, he's made all but three PATs the past two seasons and is 14 of 20 on field goals.
“It all starts with him,” MacZura said of Phibbs. “The long snap is very important. It starts the play. Without him, there's really no me. If he puts the snap right where it's at, we're probably going to have a good kick, more than likely. If it's a bad snap, I'm going to over-correct.”
Now that MacZura has added punting to his placekicking duties, his relationship with Phibbs (and holder Johnny Petrishen) has become even more special.
“I'm getting a lot better at punting,” MacZura said. “With kicking, when Phibbs snaps it to JP and he puts it down, all I have to do is kick it. With punting, I have to hold the ball and mold it. The pressure is a lot more on me.”
They know that one mishap can cost their team a game, as missed extra points did to Woodland Hills in the 2000 WPIAL Class AAAA final and to Gateway in the '07 title game.
They also know that as long as they do their jobs, it will only be noticeable on the scoreboard.