EVEN WHEN it's followed by 300-plus, you always remember your first.
Kicking point, that is.
Nick Visco, a 6-2, 195-pound senior, is in season No. 4 of drilling footballs through uprights for Archbishop Wood High and No. 1 was collected, oh, 90-odd miles from his Southampton, Bucks County, home.
To open the 2009 season, the Vikings traveled to Ocean City (N.J.) High for a non-league game against Cardinal O'Hara. Though the result was a 35-14 loss, Visco batted 1.000 with PAT.
"The first one? I was kicking toward the school, away from the boardwalk," he recalled. "I was pretty nervous going out there, but I hit it good. Basically right down the middle."
The first field goal came 1 week later, in a loss to Chestnut Hill Academy, and Visco's right instep was just getting warmed up.
Already for a while, he has owned the career city records for PAT (now 256) and kicking points (319, thanks to 21 field goals) and the final chance to add to the totals will come Friday night, 7 o'clock, at HersheyPark Stadium as Wood, the 2011 kingpin, meets Cathedral Prep, of Erie, for the PIAA Class AAA championship.
This game hardly will be a gimme, like many the Vikings have played this season en route to a 12-2 record and 522-221 scoring advantage.
In fact, after the Ramblers last weekend thumped Bishop McDevitt, of Harrisburg, in a semifinal, they scrambled into USA Today's national Top 25 (at No. 19).
Visco knows the deal. This contest might cause thousands to lose their fingernails, and he could wind up being a difference-maker.
"I've been working harder than ever this week," he said Wednesday, before the Vikings gathered for specialized meetings then hightailed it over to nearby William Tennent High for a ch-ch-chilly practice on an artificial surface. "I've been part of Wood football for 4 years and I want to go out strong.
"I want to be remembered not as the kid who missed a field goal that could have won the big game, but as the kid who made it."
Minutes earlier, fittingly, he'd expressed his thoughts on a sequence that began the 2011 season.
The game, vs. Pittsburgh Central Catholic and televised nationwide, was played in suburban Pittsburgh and lightning caused a 34-minute delay in the waning moments. Shortly after the resumption, Visco missed (maybe) a 40-yard field goal and Wood fell, 20-17. It then reeled off 14 consecutive wins.
"It's something you have to get past," Visco said. "You have to have a strong mind and carry on.
"I've probably watched that play 50 times. I thought it was good, but that wasn't the call. It is what it is . . . I should have put the ball right down the middle. Then there wouldn't have been a question about it. I gave them the option to decide: good or no good."
Visco was strictly a soccer player through the sixth grade, then decided to try football, intending to perform overall duties, with the Northampton Indians' youth program. The next year he suited up for the Assumption CYO team, in Feasterville.
"I decided to try kicking out of the blue, when the coach asked us if anyone wanted to try it," Visco said. "I realized I was pretty good. Even at that age, I was making all the extra points and kicking 35-yard field goals. In eighth grade, I had a 40-yarder and it was, 'Hey, this is for me!' "
In '09, Visco beat out a then-junior for the job during training camp. By '11, 92 total points were leaving him two short of the city mark set in 2000 by Archbishop Carroll's Marty Higgins and 86 PAT were leaving him three below the number hammered in '08 by West Catholic's Tim Carroll.
Visco's original holder/snapper combo featured Jerry Rahill and Colin Thompson. Joey Monaghan joined Thompson in '10 and '11 while the current partners are holder Chris Rahill, Jerry's brother, and snapper Nick Arcidiacono.
"When you send a guy out there and you know he's going to hit the PAT, it's huge," coach Steve Devlin said. "Nick also adds the field goals, when we need them, and he always helps us with field position with his great kickoffs."
To spectators, Visco probably comes off as anti-social. By his own estimation, he usually stands about 20 yards from his nearest teammate.
Checkin' out cheerleaders?
"Nah, I'm always watching the game," he said. "So I'm ready when I'm called upon. I like to keep my focus, instead of talking to kids. As third down comes, I start making sure I'm ready if coach decides to go for a field goal."
Though no full scholarships have been offered, Visco is being eyed by Penn State, Rutgers and Villanova for preferred walk-on status and it's possible Lehigh will come through with a reduced-tuition enticement. He intends to major in business with, perhaps, a minor in kinesiology.
To date, his coolest overall moment occurred in the 2011 season, when Wood captured that state title. Individual? Back in '10, when his PAT secured a 20-19 win over Friendship Academy, of Washington, D.C.