BEVERLY - Are you ready for some football?
The Fort Frye High Cadets are, that's for sure. Head coach Eric Huck thinks his team will be competitive in 2012.
"I think we have a good team," Huck said. "We have a lot of confidence. There are 27 kids out this year, and it's a good, quality group of kids. They've worked hard, and we're excited for this season."
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck, center, talks to the Cadets during a practice session in Beverly Wednesday.
The Cadets went 5-5 on the gridiron in 2011, competing in the ultra-competitive Pioneer Valley Conference.
Official practices began Monday, and the Cadets have been trying to take what they learned in their ten contact days and apply it to the field.
"We're doing pretty good," said senior Max Alsbach. "We've all been working hard. We're trying to execute the basics and the fundamentals. We have high expectations for this season."
Alsbach, a fullback on offense and outside linebacker on defense, is coming off of a season in which he earned All-PVC honors. Alsbach carried the ball 68 times for 262 yards in 2011, while also reeling in 16 receptions for 106 yards. On defense, he made 39 tackles and had an interception.
Also earning All-PVC honors last season were Chandler and Spencer Lang. Chandler completed 70 of 136 pass attempts for 607 yards from the quarterback position in 2011. He also ran for 482 yards on 104 carries. Defensively, Chandler recorded 76 tackles and two picks.
Spencer, the elder of the Lang brothers, had 122 carries for 582 yards to lead the team. He also led the team in receiving with 262 yards on 24 catches.
The skill positions will certainly be the strength of the team.
"We have most of our skill players back," Huck said. "Defensively, our linebackers and secondary are very experienced. It's basically the same group as last year, so they're ahead of the curve. Our lines on both sides of the ball are pretty inexperienced. They have some catching up to do."
Although it has cooled down just a tad, the temperature has reached the nineties each day this week, which results in a more grueling practice.
"We have them taking breaks often," Huck said. "It just adds to the conditioning. It's something we're working through."
"It's been pretty hot," Alsbach added. "Four hours in this heat can be pretty tough. We've just got to push through it."
Along with the experience Fort Frye is bringing, Huck is impressed with the underclassmen on the roster.
"There are a lot of younger kids fighting for positions," Huck said. "They're right on the heels of some of the older kids."
The Cadets have two more weeks of two-a-day practices. The first game of the season is on Aug. 24 at River.
"I'm pretty excited," Alsbach said. "We'll see what we can do. I think we're getting everything down. Everyone is doing their job."