Fort Frye Looking for Big Things
By RON JOHNSTON
BEVERLY — Fort Frye High’s football team has been on a roll ever since Tate Engle earned the starting quarterback job as a freshman back in 2015.
In three years of taking center snaps, Engle has helped the Cadets compile a combined 32-4 record and make three straight Ohio Division VI playoff appearances. In regular-season play, he’s been almost perfect with a 29-1 mark.
Engle is now a senior, and Fort Frye is again expected to be one of the top teams in Ohio Division VI and the team to beat in the Pioneer Valley Conference. The Cadets will also get an opportunity to avenge their only regular-season setback in three years when they travel to Northridge in Week 2. (Last season, they dropped a 6-0 to Northridge.)
Fort Frye graduated some good ones in All-Ohio honorees’ Tyler Bradford (running back/linebacker), Logan Isner (lineman), Tyson Miller (lineman); and all-district picks’ Jesse McLeod (tight end) and Zach Schilling (center/kicker). The Cadets will also miss Cameron Camp, Tyler Ball, Nick Grosklos, Joshua Zwick, and Braden Henniger.
“All of these guys will be tough to replace,” said 11th-year coach Eric Huck, the 2017 District Coach of the Year. “But we have a lot of skill guys back.”
Do the Cadets ever, starting of course with Engle. Last season, he earned all-state honors (honorable mention) after passing for nearly 1,300 yards (74 of 138 passes) and 12 touchdowns.
A two-way player, Engle played in the defensive secondary and had three interceptions last season.
In many ways, as Engle goes, so go the Cadets. His backups are expected to be either Brady Schilling or Brian Adkins or freshman Ian Ellis.
Schilling, a district special mention, also figures to be running routes for Engle and will see action in the defensive secondary. Last year, he led the Mid-Ohio Valley with six picks.
The receiving corps will also include Brenden Huck — an all-district selection as a linebacker last season — Caden Fryman, and Dre Turner. Huck is being looked at the tight end position.
On offense, Fort figures to run out of the Wing-T, and its stable of running backs include Evan Schob, Tyler Fisher, and Adkins.
Last fall, Schob was an honorable mention all-stater as a linebacker, while Fisher was an all-district pick with a team-leading 981 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.
The offensive line is expected to feature Dylan Hart (center), Isiah Jones (guard), Colby Sleek (tackle), Hunter Stoffel (guard), and Anthony Rhodes.
Defensively, Fort should be solid with Austin Baumgartner, Nate Brothers, and Jones — an all-district honoree — in the trenches; Schob, Huck, and Fryman at linebackers; and Engle, Fisher, and Schilling in the secondary.
With just 33 on the roster, many of the Cadets will be two-ways players.
“We’ve got some holes to fill in on the line,” Eric Huck said. “We’ll just have to see how things pan out.”
The Fort boss said the kicking game “was up in the air.” Fisher, though, is being looked at to handle those chores.
“These guys know what to expect,” Huck said. “They’ve been working hard, and we’re pleased with what we’ve seen.”