The man behind the stats

Zach Fries has kept the football teams stats the last two years

The man behind the stats

Football is the ultimate team sport. Coaches are responsible for the game plan and the weekly preparation, the scout team (the backups who prepare the starters all week) are the weekly scholars who quickly learn the opponents schemes and execute them all week in practice. And, of course, the highly visible 22 starters who take the field as a unit every Friday night in front of the screaming fans.

Each player and coach has a specific job that makes the team successful. And then there is junior Zach Fries. “Friesy” as the players and coaches call him, has been a part of the Elder football program since his freshman year as the student manager. The student manager is one of the most important roles on the team. In one form or fashion Friesy helps every player or coach at some point during the season.

I caught up with Zach this week to find out how he landed his important role on the team.

“When I first started, one of my dad’s friends told me that the football team is always looking for help. So I started freshman year, and was asked to come back and do it again for JV. It became a success, and the job turned into working for Varsity too.”

I do whatever I can, whenever I can, try to do as much as possible.”

— Zach Fries

Zach is head stat keeper for the Panthers, and knows how important his job on the team really is. Many of the players often try to persuade Friesy into boosting their stats.

Senior corner back David Heisel said, “I always tell him to throw a couple extra tackles my way.”

On Friday nights you will find him perched in the press box pencil and paper in hand but that is just one of his many jobs.

Zach explained, “I mainly do stats, but during the week, I also fill up water bottles, coolers, and get ice for the trainers.” Zach also has the support from fellow players.

Junior wide receiver Ross Hambleton said, “I think he is a hard working guy, last year he missed out on cheering in the student section. Instead he kept stats for the varsity team during the games. He sacrificed a lot, but it shows what a great guy he is.”

While giving up his days in the cheering section, Zach still has great nights in the Pit. Zach knows its time consuming but the job also contains great opportunities. He told me his favorite moment was the St. Edwards game from last year.

“Doing the stats, and sitting in the press box for the Saint Ed’s game was unbelievable. It was a blast, the crowed was nuts. The press box was packed, and it was my favorite moment.”

Zach hopes to continue his ways in the stat world.

He said, “I hope to get a scholarship and go to college to work on being a play by play football broadcaster. That’s my dream job. To be on ESPN and do the thing I love.”

You can find all of Zach’s stats on the GCL South website.

Like cogs in a machine, it takes many people to make a football team successful. Elder is lucky to have Friesy on the sidelines at practice and in the press box on Friday nights. He doesn’t just know his role he embraces it and excels at it.