The first three weeks of the season have been full of intriguing matchups, surprise teams and some of the most glorious weather this bear has ever experienced over a prolonged stretch of Fridays.
Blitz’s thick fur can be a detriment in these early weeks of the season when summer isn’t ready to give way to cooler weather. Thankfully, he hasn’t broken down physically by sweating 10 lbs. of mammal meat off in these cooler temps. Here is hoping Week 4 is just as nice.
No matter how much Blitz dissects teams in the preseason, there are standout players who emerge once the season begins. With the first third of the regular season complete, how about looking at some of those studs:
JEFFREY BECKER, SOPHOMORE, CARROLL
How can you not be impressed with the kid? After owning the Bishop Luers defense in Week 1, Becker (pictured) proved he belonged on the big stage throwing for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a one-point loss to Snider.
For the year, Becker already has over 900 yards of total offense. He has shown the innate ability to know when to stay in the pocket and when to roll to the outside, or step up and make a throw or take off up the middle.
Coach Doug Dinan was right to turn to the youngster as his starter.
GREG BOLT, SOPHOMORE, COLUMBIA CITY
Much was said about this kid as a freshman who was thrust into the starting role last year. Coach Brett Fox said he was “throwing him to the wolves” so to speak, wanted to see what he could do.
Turns out, last year’s baptism by fire was the best thing for him. Through three games, Bolt has thrown for over 600 yards and 11 touchdowns against four INTs. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he has the frame to play the position at an extremely high level.
The second half of the season is loaded with pitfalls for the Eagles. Bolt will need to play well, but has already impressed many with his start.
VINNY FIACABLE, JUNIOR, BISHOP DWENGER
Younger bro to former Saints quarterback Mike, Vinny has become the Joe Tippmann of 2019.
Last year, Tippmann dominated opponents as an O-lineman, did some work on D-line and also was the beef in Dwenger’s jumbo package on offense.
Vinny Fiacable is doing the same, including converting on a touchdown and a two-point already this year.
BLAKE HEYERLY, SOPHOMORE, ADAMS CENTRAL
What was the Flying Jets going to do without the likes of Parker Bates, Logan Macklin and Jalen Hammond?
Turns out, a new crop of talent is emerging, led by Heyerly, who is making an impact on both sides of the ball.
As one of the primary running backs, Heyerly has been relied upon to step up big carrying the football. He scored the winning touchdown in Week 2 against Eastside while also snagging an interception.
Heyerly will only grow bigger and beastlier on both sides of the line in the years to come.
MATT MILLER, SOPHOMORE, HOMESTEAD
Coach Chad Zolman has a gem in this underclassmen, a defensive lineman who already has 10 tackles, five TFL and four sacks.
Defensive line play will be key this Friday as Homestead looks to get a push against a big and powerful Bishop Dwenger O-line. Miller may not be the leader quite yet of the front of the Sparty D, but he sure has put up the production to be considered a “lead by example” type.
EASTON RHODES, SENIOR, DEKALB
Rhodes isn’t completely unfamiliar with the varsity game, but he is making a major impact for the Barons.
The two-headed monster at running back of Landon Miller and Tanner Jack has been impressive, but Rhodes is a big reason why defenses have to defend the pass as well when playing DeKalb. He has just seven receptions through three games, but he has four touchdowns and is averaging 21.5 yards per reception.
AIDAN WANNER, SOPHOMORE, SOUTH ADAMS
Talk about versatility. Wanner began the season at quarterback in place of James Arnold, throwing for 184 yards and three TDs against Winchester. He then moved to wide receiver upon the return of Arnold over the last two weeks, going for a combined 209 yards and three scores.
Add to those gaudy numbers 10 tackles and an INT on defense, and Wanner is a true two-way force, already one of the best in the ACAC.
ROWAN ZOLMAN, SOPHOMORE, EAST NOBLE
Coach Luke Amstutz said in preseason he was going to have to rely on some sophomores in the starting lineup. Zolman has stepped up in a big way. He is averaging over nine tackles a game and has four pass breakups from his safety spot. At 6-3, 170 pounds, Zolman has the length to challenge bigger receivers on jump balls.
Zolman has also gotten looks offensively, scoring on a 32-yard reception last week against Huntington North.
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