Snap to it

The life of Elder’s long snapper Ben Mullaney


Photo taken from

Number 57 Ben Mullaney running onto the field with his teammates

All week long everyone looks forward to Friday nights in the Pit. People are excited to watch Elder’s star football players hit the field. Most people enjoy watching the star-filled positions; running backs, quarterbacks, and standout defensive players.

Yet in football there are always a few positions that go overlooked, or almost forgotten altogether. One of those positions people don’t pay much attention to would be Elder’s long snapper, Ben Mullaney. I was fortunate enough to have a conversation about long snapping with Ben and some of his teammates.

Ben told me, “I haven’t been too happy with some of my snaps this year. When I have a bad snap it honestly sucks, I feel like I let down the entire team.”

He also added, “I feel a lot more pressure from snapping in front of a small crowd to snapping in front of crowds of 10,000, in the pit.”

Although he has had some early season struggles, Ben still thinks that he’s the right man for the job, and no one else does it better.

Pat Tiernan was the holder for the JV football team last year and he actually thought it would be Trenton Barret long snapping to him this year. He says, “He did okay.” But Pat doesn’t catch his snaps this year, he catches those of Mullaney.

Elder has had a few long snappers go all the way to the NFL, including Rams long snapper Jake McQuaide. Can Ben follow in their footsteps as well? Pat Tiernan doesn’t think so, “I have no faith that Ben will even academically make it past high school, much less play football, too.”

Luke Masminster is Elder’s punter, and he is thrilled that Ben snaps to him on just about every fourth down.

“It’s a great feeling, I like to see his little eyes come out from under him. It really makes me want to punt.” Luke also talked about how Ben snapping to him has also improved their off field relationship. Masminster also added, “Ben is by far the best man for the job at Elder High School, I couldn’t imagine anyone else snapping me the ball for my punts.

Photo taken from
Number 57 Ben Mullaney blocking for his quarterback Michael Bittner

Ben Mullaney and all other long snappers are an underappreciated position in football. But Elder does have a good history of long snappers going all the way, so can Ben be the next one? Some of his teammates feel he is right for the position, but others feel differently. I guess we’ll have to wait see how Elder’s coaching staff can mold this young talent into a true superstar in the GCL football league.


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