“I’m a little more critical of myself,” said Ramlet, the son of Phil Ramlet and Vicki Winter. “I want to get it on the belt or the torso every single time and in a certain time. It’s just me being a personal critic. I always look at the game film and critique myself. Could I have made a better pursuit angle on the punt return? I also look at the snap and my blocking. All those things are pretty important in recruiting a long snapper.”
Minnesota, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, in no particular order, are Ramlet’s top three college choices at this time. He polished his skills and caught the attention of college scouts at various camps, especially the Kohl’s showcases and Taylor Mehlhaff camps.
“My dad gave me a rough understanding of (long snapping),” said Ramlet. “I attended my first Kohl’s camp when I was going into my freshman year. There I met Kevin Garviolle. He’s really been helping me. I took part in my first Taylor Mehlhaff camp the spring of my sophomore year where I met Ryan Senser. Ryan helped me relax. Up until then, I was a really tense snapper.”
Snapping runs in the Ramlet family. Older brother Dave is a long snapper for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Their grandfather, Bill Ramlet, snapped at Yankton College and Phil was a long snapper at Shawano High School.
“Dave and I always had this sibling rivalry,” said Ramlet. “I was in sixth grade when I started. (Dave) was long snapping in the backyard one day when I said, ‘Let me try this.’ It turned out I was pretty good at it.”
Ramlet, who is interested in studying criminal justice in college, said that he is enjoying the recruiting process, but his main focus is helping Xavier win. The Hawks are 5-1 following a 37-31 defeat last Friday at Waupaca in a showdown of previously Eastern Valley Conference unbeatens.
In addition to long snapping, the 6’ 4″ 230-pound Ramlet is starting at outside linebacker for the third consecutive season and is also seeing some action at tight end. Last year, the Hawks finished 12-1 after falling to state champion West De Pere in a level four playoff game. Ramlet and fellow seniors A.J. DeBruin, Jimmy Schmidt, Jack Klister, Jack Little and Matt Knox have all started since their sophomore years, so expectations were once again high.
“If it’s in the weight room or conditioning, we always push each other to get better,” said Ramlet. “We had a really good season last year, but I don’t think the taste has left our mouths from that defeat. Our goal is state. If we could win state this year, the senior class would leave their signature on the school.”
Ramlet added that the seniors have embraced leadership roles this season and promoted team unity. The players became closer by spending the week before the season opener at the Catholic Youth Expeditions camp, led by Fr. Quinn Mann, on Kangaroo Lake in Door County.
“It’s really peaceful there and it’s great for team bonding,” said Ramlet. “There were a few juniors and sophomores that I didn’t know. We bonded as a team. Our sophomore year, that team had great chemistry. You didn’t know the seniors from the sophomores. We talked about that and said that we wanted that this year. We want to be one football team.
“The biggest thing we bring to the football field is our experience,” Ramlet added about the seniors. “We’ve experienced the big game. We’ve experienced fighting back from a deficit.”
Playing for the Hawks was Ramlet’s goal at a young age. He lives two blocks from the school and remembers attending his first game as a first grader.
“They played Hortonville in the old Valley 8 Conference,” he said. “When other kids were playing around, tossing the football around, I was watching the game. My dad talked to me before my first game, against Omro my sophomore year. He said, ‘You’ve been waiting for so many years to be in these shoes right now. Savor it because you never know when it’s going to end and it will go by so quickly.’”
Ramlet plans to give back to the football program this spring by mentoring a sophomore or freshman in the art of long snapping. He and a friend built a long snapping target out of PVC pipe to help keep his skills sharp throughout the season and in preparation for college. Ramlet said that he will take more than the on the field accomplishments with him to the next level.
“I’m taking the brotherhood aspect,” he said. “Coach (Dave) Hinkens emphasizes being a team and also the faith aspect. Growing up in a Catholic school, all the way from kindergarten, I’ve come to really like this school and really enjoy this community. This community has supported everything about Xavier football.”