Long snapper may not be the most glamorous position on the football team, but it’s one Henry Alexander has made his own over his last two seasons with the Louisa Lions.
He’s okay with not being in the spotlight, though.
“If you mess up, everyone knows your name, and if you do it right, no one knows your name,” he said.
As the name implies, a long snapper is responsible for snapping the ball longer distances for extra point and field goal attempts and punts. They need to be able to get the ball back as far as eight yards on extra point and field goal tries and 15 for punts, and to do so accurately.
“Not many people can do it,” Alexander said. “I’ve been working at it since I was a little kid, just trying to get [the ball] in the right spot.”
Alexander has been playing football since he was around nine years old, starting in the Louisa County little league program. He played long snapper a little bit during his little league days, but also played in several other positions along the offensive line during his career. Whatever position he played, Alexander was just happy to be able to get on the field and be part of the team.
“I love the brotherhood I’ve formed with my teammates, and [football] is a good outlet for stress,” he said. “I strive to be better everyday, whether I’m in the weight room or on the field.”
Long snapper wasn’t his primary position until his junior year of high school, when the spot opened up. After working throughout the offseason to hone his skills, Alexander became the guy snapping the ball to the punter or the holder when it needed to be kicked.
With his time at Louisa behind him, Alexander is now looking toward the future. His college plans are taking him to Randolph-Macon College in Ashland where he’ll join the Yellow Jackets’ team as their long snapper.
He was initially drawn to the school by their new engineering program, and already had plans to attend, but didn’t think college football was in the cards for him. After meeting with the team’s head coach during a visit to the school, Alexander was excited to learn that the team was looking for a new long snapper.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to play football in college,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that’s worked out like it was meant to.”
As excited as Alexander is to play for Randolph-Macon, there are plenty of things about Louisa that he’s sorry to leave behind.
“I’m really going to miss the atmosphere [in The Jungle],” he said. “Coming out of that tunnel is a crazy feeling and the fans are fantastic.”