Marietta College ‘seems like the place’ for Frontier’s Andrew Shapley
NEW MATAMORAS — Frontier High School’s Andrew Shapley made a trio of visits to Ohio Athletic Conference football programs, but in the end opted to stay closer to home and compete for Marietta College.
Recruited as a defensive lineman by Pioneer head coach Andy Waddle, Shapley helped the Cougars of head man Russ Morris to a 5-4 record this year, which included the school’s first-ever postseason victory.
“They got a great program and they got a lot of majors to choose from,” said Shapley, who also visited Capital and Muskingum, but is currently undecided upon a course of study. “It just seems like the place for me.”
The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder was a three-year, two-way starter for FHS and played just on the defensive line as a freshman.
“I liked Marietta’s campus a lot better than the other schools and I liked the coaching staff,” Shapley said. “Whenever I went to the visit they asked me what I wanted to play and I said defense and they said the offensive and defensive coordinators have been fighting over me.
“I really had my pick. I said I’d rather play defense. I know one of the coaches. I know the offensive coordinator (Lucas) Poggiali. His wife used to teach at Frontier and coaches my sister in basketball.”
During his senior campaign, Shapley recorded 49 tackles and registered six sacks. He played right tackle and defensive tackle unless the Cougars were in a 3-front and then he moved to nose guard.
“Right now I’m doing stuff on my own, but I’m pretty sure they are going to send me a summer workout plan,” added Shapley, who said he put on 20 pounds from his junior to senior year.
The Cougar said he felt his size and his ability to “give a lot of effort” were keys in his recruitment, while adding “something I need to work on is probably, definitely, hands and footwork I’d say.”
During the second semester of his junior year, Shapley started going to Washington State Community College. The College Credit Plus program is something he’s done entirely this year as he not only gets high school credits but expects to have more than three dozen credits going into Marietta College.
“I’ve always wanted to play,” Shapley said of getting a chance after high school. “I mean it’s relieving. It’s just nice to know I’m not done yet. I just worry about the work load a little bit, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. I hope I can contribute to the team and I hope we do good things in the OAC and possibly win the conference championships.”
Like it is for all linemen, the ultimate goal of scoring a touchdown never materialized for the Cougar.
“I didn’t get there,” he quipped of the end zone. “That’s one dream that never came true. There was a play this past season. I came through and I swatted the pass down. My buddy (Braden McLeish) ended up intercepting it and they got him down at the goal line and I was so mad, couldn’t even score that one for me.
“The best moment was when we won our playoff game this year and me and my friends dumped water on the coach. That was great. That was like our biggest win we had (versus Fairfield Christian Academy) and it was the second time we ever went to the playoffs.”
Shapley added he knows he can’t procrastinate in college and thinks “he’ll be fine.”
He’s also anxious to focus on just one side of the football.
“It will give me the chance to work on one set of skills and get really, really good at just defense and it will be nice to have some breaths throughout the game.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org