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Meet Nazareth's OL & Long Snapper Domenic Virelli Class Of 2021

So in a way to better understand the use of Deep Dish Football for lllinois recruits and the whole entire IHSA Football scene. Decided to do player profiles of players who you might not know or you might know , but you should respect them for their roles on their respective teams. Every Football Player Has A Story To Tell

Domenic Virelli Nazareth OL/LS Class of 2021 6'0 265

Domenic Virelli how was your sophomore season?

As a team, it was amazing. Winning a State Championship is the ultimate goal when you start the season and to be able to see that goal achieved is amazing. The expectations for our team were high in 2018 and we were able to live up to those expectations. As an individual, it was an honor to earn the starting long snapping job as a sophomore at such an elite program. Along with my role as varsity long snapper I was also the a reserve varsity lineman and JV center but due to an injury in a week 3 JV game I had to miss a lot of those center reps the remainder of the season which was very frustrating for me but it certainly didn’t take away from the amazing season overall.

Favorite memory of the season?

It would be hard to pick anything other than winning the 7A State Title!

When I say "long snapper" what does that mean?

Consistency! It means that the worst thing that could happen is becoming famous because that undoubtedly means you have failed. No one asks or looks in the program to see who the long snapper is when you’ve done your job but if the ball sails over the punters head for a safety or rolls back to the holder costing your team an extra point or field goal you are no longer the anonymous long snapper you are now the infamous long snapper. Perfection is the expectation, for how many other positions is that true? Fortunately, this year we were 100% on snaps but of course not all were as ideally located as I would like and I give a lot of credit to our senior holder, Luke Dolan, for his incredible job in helping make me look good on some of the more borderline extra point snaps.

What do you think the biggest misconception about long snapping is?

Probably that it’s not that big of a deal or difficult and that you can throw most anyone into the position and they will do “good enough.” You have to look no further than our state semifinal game this past season to see just how much it can impact a game. The position used to be more of a secondary role, even at the college level where a back-up tight end, linebacker, or fullback might be your long snapper. That has changed and it is now a full-time specialization at the college level.

What have you been doing in the off-season to improve yourself for the upcoming season?

I have been continuing to work with both the team at Nazareth as well as my outside strength coach on getting bigger and stronger in anticipation of also earning the role of starting center in 2019. As we come into the spring and summer I will also be ramping up my outside work with offensive line and long snapping coaches. Additionally, I plan to start attending some college camps over the summer months.

What would you like college coaches to know about you?

That I’m a football player. I love the game, the camaraderie of the team, the off-season preparation for the season, all of it. I think of myself as a smart player that understands the game and this along with my strength and love of physicality on the line make me a “prototypical” center. Obviously my ability to also perform as a long snapper improves my versatility and while one college may see me as a fit for center in their program another may prefer me as a long snapper. I’m keeping my options open at this time and will make the choice that’s best for me when the time comes.

Funniest coach on the Nazareth staff?

Definitely coach Joe Battaglia. He is a character and he usually says or does something during the course of practice that is memorable.

What goal do you have for yourself for these final two seasons of football in your high school career?

I plan to earn the role of starting center this upcoming season and fill the shoes of the seniors who have been at that position the last two years. I want to maintain a perfect 100% on long snaps over the course of my career. I want to help the program continue its level of success and defend our state title. Finally, I hope to do enough to catch the attention of colleges, giving me the opportunity to pursue the game that I love beyond high school.

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