Cole Ramey, who is entering his senior season at Arroyo Grande High School, is now a battle-tested veteran, contrasting greatly with the lithe sophomore, with the mop of curly hair, that won the starting job as a sophomore on the Eagles varsity football team.
Spending two seasons as Arroyo Grande's starting kicker, lining up for and knocking down many a pressure-packed kick, Ramey has developed into the top kicker in the area. (Well, Bryce Pasky of Paso Robles probably has something to say about that).
He's experienced enough to know, after two seasons filled with touchbacks and clutch field goals, that the only thing success brings is loftier expectations.
Judging by his past successes, the expectations probably couldn't get much higher.
Ramey was named to the Northern Division's All-CIF team after his junior year. His name can be found on the CalHi Sports 2012 All-State Sophomore Team as well.
Ramey's well aware of the expectations to provide consistent kicking and punting for the Eagles this year. He's also very ready to meet and exceed those expectations.
"The better I do in the past, the more they expect out of me in the future," Ramey said, referring to his teammates, coaches and Eagles boosters. "So, now, they see more and they want more from me."
Ramey, who was one of the top pitchers for the Eagles baseball team during the spring sports season, has been busy improving himself in hopes of taking his game to another level.
His prime focus has been working on his mentality, which might be the most important tool a kicker has.
"I think the mental game has really stepped up," Ramey said between kicks at Billy Vinnedge's annual camp. "Instead of trying to kill the ball every time, it's more just hitting it consistently because my leg has gotten stronger.
"Instead of trying to hit a 70-yarder every time on a kickoff, I'm mainly kicking it smoothly, like I'm hitting a 60, and that 70 just comes naturally with the leg strength and the mental game."
Ramey had 42 touchbacks on 73 kickoffs last season and averaged around 38 yards on his 30 punts, pinning nine inside the 20-yard line. He made 11 of 15 field goals with a long of 43.
Still, Ramey wants more out of himself.
"I didn't kick as much as I wanted too last year," he said. "I felt like I did well but there is always room for improvement, that's just like this year, and next year and so and so forth, every day is about improvement."
Ramey drilled a 52-yard field goal as a sophomore. Ramey and Pasky went head-to-head during the competition session at Vinnedge's camp Sunday, with Pasky cokming away as the overall winner.
Pasky averaged 61.83 yards and a 3.86-second hang time on kickoffs. Ramey 61 and 3.36. Pasky hit 9 of 10 field goal tries, Ramey hit 8 of 10. Pasky's hang time on punts was 4.03 with an average of 42.7 yards. Ramey's punts averaged 3.91 seconds in hang time with an average distance of 42.3 yards.
The Eagles went 8-4 last season. But this year will be much different, with the Eagles moving to the newly-formed PAC 5, after the transformation of leagues in the area.
Another change will be the snapper, with Sebastian Holtschulte taking overt hose duties.
Ramey already has a lot of confidence in the new guy, Holtschulte.
"He's really good, he's faster, but he's smooth, accurate," Ramey said. "He's just going to get the job done right."
Ramey is also focused on landing a scholarship offer to a top school, which can be quite a task for a kicker.
"I"m getting more and more letters and more people are talking to me every day, and I'm looking at my options right now," he said.
Ramey's drawing quite a bit of interest from some FBS schools, including Colorado State, Arizona State and Iowa State.
"It's certainly the dream," Ramey said of kicking college.
This past Sunday, at the Vinnedge Kicking Camp, Ramey was working with Arroyo Grande grad Garrett Owens, who will be competing for the starting job at Oregon State in the coming weeks.
"Cole Ramey, he's a great kicker," Owens said. "Like everyone, there's a lot to improve on, but he just has leg strength like no other. So if he could get everything down and get the whole package he's going to be a great kicker.
"He has a future, all it is you got to get the schooling first."
Ramey said he can't wait for his senior season, which begins with the Aug. 29 game at Lompoc, adding that his high school career has gone by incredibly fast.
"Honestly, it feels, the growth, time just flies by, improving more and more each day makes the time fly by," Ramey said. "A day seems like an hour to me because I need more and more improvement."
Looking at the Arroyo Grande team as a whole, even with the losses of quarterback Mikey Gutierrez and defensive linchpins Grant Alton and Tyler Auerbach, Ramey is confident that the Eagles will have another successful season under head coach Tom Goossen.
"I feel like we're a strong team, more mentally, just as strong as our physical aspect," Ramey said.