Levittown’s Sean O’Hara isn’t the talkative type. But he doesn’t need to be. His achievements speak for themselves.
Not only is the Neshaminy sophomore celebrating his second year as a varsity starter on the Redskins football team as a long snapper, he’s considered one of the top three long snappers in America in the class of 2022.
In June, O’Hara will be one of 10 sophomore long snappers from across the country competing in the Top 40 Showcase, which will be held in Orlando, Florida. At 5-10, 210 pounds, O’Hara is following in the footsteps of his father Bill, who was also a snapper.
When The Times caught up with O’Hara last week, he was calm and collected. For him, the secret to being a good long snapper is pretty simple.
“Just practice what I’ve been told to fix, just trying to get it right before I have to go out and do it,” he said. “I usually don’t think about it because after doing it for so long and practicing so long, I’m confident knowing I’ll go out and do it right. Through repetition and the hours that it takes, you’ll get more confidence, and then you won’t worry about, ‘If I mess this up, then people are going to say this. I might not start.’ It’s just confidence.”
The Top 40 Showcase will be O’Hara’s second time in Florida. Recently, he traveled there to compete in a long snapping competition, where he finished third overall. The four-day competition consisted of 60 freshman to senior athletes from schools nationwide.
Going into the experience, O’Hara never imagined he would do as well as he did.
“I didn’t really expect much,” he said. “I just went out there and did what I had to do. I wasn’t really thinking about where I would place.”
His long snapping coach, Adam Tanalski, of Hammer Kicking Academy, wasn’t as surprised.
“Sean is one of the top three 2022 long snappers in the entire country. He is a dominant athlete who is already in a college-ready body,” Tanalski said. “Sean snaps at a .67 to .71 range and has elite hands and flexibility for someone his age. I would expect him to challenge for one of the awards at our event this summer.”
Steve Wilmot, head coach of the Redskins, echoed Tanalski’s thoughts.
“Sean is a great asset to our team as a long and short snapper. As a coach, it is a relief to know that I do not have to worry about that aspect of the game, which is such a speciality,” he said. “Sean has started fairly locally learning his craft, and as he has gotten better and better, he has started training nationally.”
Wilmot added that O’Hara’s contributions to the team go beyond his physical talents.
“When you look at former Eagle Jon Dorenbos and current Eagles Pro Bowl snapper Rick Lovato, they are very unselfish people who add to the chemistry of a good team. Sean is the same way. It’s nice to know we still have two more years of his skills for our team,” he said.
As he prepares for the Top 40 Showcase, O’Hara is also looking ahead at life after Neshaminy, with plans to hopefully attend Rutgers University. Wilmot believes No. 66 will thrive in an advanced atmosphere.
“Sean has worked very hard in our weight room, which will only help him with his goal of being a long snapper in college,” he said. “I look forward to seeing what his future brings.” ••
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org