Staring down a long field goal -- or a critical, late-game extra point -- is one of the more stressful jobs on a football team.
It's no big deal, though, compared to the nerve-wracking experience of flying a plane.
"I told coach (Marty) Jackson this and he agrees with me: If I can fly and land an airplane, and fly it by myself, then kicking ain't nothing," Jamie Galvin said.
The senior at Evans has developed into one of the state's best placekickers. For his high school career, Galvin is 74 for 78 on extra points and 15 for 22 on field goals. His long of 49 yards was part of a perfect effort against Glenn Hills last year, as he made all three field-goal attempts and both extra points.
Jackson, the Knights' head coach, said he's coached plenty of top-notch high school kickers, but Galvin "might be the best one I've coached."
Jackson said Galvin's focus is uncanny.
"He doesn't panic when he misses one. He just comes back and says, 'Hey, my plant foot slipped,' or something like that," his coach said. "It's very comforting to know that. Once we get in the red zone, it gives us an opportunity to come away with points.
"He's pretty automatic."
That is a trait Galvin acquired on five solo flights. By the end of the school year, he plans on taking -- and passing -- a test at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport to earn his private pilot's license.
Meanwhile, reliability on the football field means making extra points without thinking much about them. Galvin's goals for his senior season are to get all kickoffs at least to the 5-yard line and to make every extra point he attempts.
Last year, he came up two short of that goal.
One, he said, came against Harlem in one of the first few games. The other came in the final regular-season game against Richmond Academy.
"Coach Jackson held up two fingers to go for 2, so I took off my helmet," Galvin said. "Then, he yells for an extra point, but I didn't hear it. Before I know it, the whole team lined up and I'm not out there."
In a hurry, once he got out there, Galvin "totally whiffed," hitting it wide left.
The pursuit of perfection started when Galvin's father brought him out to kick 20-yard field goals in sixth grade. He was a soccer player then, but hasn't touched a soccer ball in three years because kicking footballs has taken over as his passion.
Galvin hopes to bring that passion and another together after he graduates.
He's received roughly 20 letters from college football programs hoping he will serve as their next kicker. The ones that stick out are those from the service academies.
Galvin first got interested in flying when his family flew for vacation every summer. His grandfather served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
"I have such a deep respect for the military, what they do and just what they stand for," Galvin said.
So, Galvin has decided he'd like to fly planes in the military. The Naval and Air Force academies interest him most because they fly the most. He doesn't have perfect vision without corrective lenses, so he wouldn't be able to fly fighters, but he hopes to fly C-130 transport planes.
In the classroom, Galvin sports a 3.5 grade-point average.
"I've started talking to people at the academies," Galvin said. "They said I meet all of their requirements, as far as character, community service, grades and athletics.
"And all of the academies have football teams."
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