By day, Carl Farnham maneuvers around school with his left foot encased in a boot, all the better to protect it from the dangers of matriculating through the crowded hallways.
But what does he do on Friday nights? The Bangor High School sophomore not only ditches the boot — he goes out and plays football.
Well sort of.
Farnham’s work on the gridiron for the next five or six weeks will be limited to placekicking after he was diagnosed with a broken bone near the foot he plants when he attempts extra points and field goals for the Rams.
“I found out [Thursday] that I actually fractured the outside of my big toe on my plant foot,” he said. “I knew it hurt, but I wanted to play through it so I do everything I can to stay off it.
“Then when it comes time to play we tape it up and just get out there and kick.”
So far, so good for Farnham, who made all seven of his extra-point attempts Friday when Bangor opened the defense of its 2009 Eastern Maine Class A championship with a 49-0 victory at Skowhegan.
“I didn’t feel any pain when I was kicking,” said Farnham. “The trainer [John Ryan] does a nice job taping it up. I just took my normal steps and booted it.”
It was a performance good enough for a game ball — not for Farnham, but for his podiatrist, Dr. Roy Corbin.
“We got him a game ball for Dr. Corbin,” said Bangor coach Mark Hackett. “Carl had been kicking and it was irritating him, and at first they thought it was turf toe. But Dr. Corbin put him in a boot when he’s not playing and told him not to run, and he can kick all field goals and extra points and it won’t irritate his foot because of a metal insert they’ve put in his shoe to prevent movement.
“I didn’t think we were going to have him, but he got cleared, it didn’t bother him and he made every one of his kicks. They were beautiful.”
Farnham, who began the season as Bangor’s third-team quarterback behind seniors Joe Seccareccia and Dylan Morris, had never been a placekicker until after he approached Hackett about the possibility during the offseason.
“I just started this summer,” said Farnham, who quarterbacked the Rams’ freshman team last fall. “I had played soccer for five or six years before this and knew I had a pretty lively leg. I thought I could do it, so I asked coach if I could try and he said OK.”
Farnham quickly established himself as the team’s primary kicker at the outset of the preseason, and while he won’t be able to attempt kickoffs until his injury heals because he can’t run on his ailing foot, he still provides Bangor an additional special-teams weapon with what he’s able to do now.
“I know he can kick a 50-yard field goal if we need it,” said Hackett, whose team plays its home opener Friday night against Mount Ararat of Topsham. “Will he? I hope he doesn’t have to, but he’s kicking like a champ right now.”