FOOTBALL: Frye, Redskins focused on Bellefontaine
Wapakoneta Redskins kick returner Kevin Kraft (21) carves his way through the Minster Wildcats on his way to an 85-yard kickoff return for touchdown during a scrimmage Friday at Harmon Field in Wapak. (Staff photo/John S. Hullinger)
With a difficult Western Buckeye League schedule looming on the horizon, Doug Frye could easily be forgiven for overlooking Week 1 opponent Bellefontaine.
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But the second-year Wapakoneta Redskins football coach is not a man who is easily distracted.
Just ask Mrs. Frye.
â€śOne time, about 15 years ago, when I was at Danville High School, we were playing in a tight game, and there was a skydiver that came down on the field that was supposed to hit Mount Vernonâ€™s field and hit Centerburgâ€™s field,â€ť Frye said.
â€śMy wife talked to me about the skydiver after the game. And I had no knowledge that the skydiver had hit the field.
â€śMy focus is pretty much straight-ahead all the time.â€ť
Right now Frye is focused on the Bellefontaine Chieftains and what has been a roller-coaster game.
Wapak kicks off its 2011 season at 7:30 Friday night when it hosts the Chieftains.
Two years ago Bellefontaine christened the brand new Field Turf at Harmon Field with a 45-0 drubbing of the Redskins.
Wapak repaid the favor in the first game of the Frye era with a 42-7 win at Bellefontaine.
â€śThis has been a game that has traditionally favored the visiting team,â€ť Frye said.
Frye said the defensive focus in the offseason has been stopping the pass. The Redskins will get two early tests with Bellefontaineâ€™s spread offense in Week 1 and Elidaâ€™s in Week 2.
â€śOur defense is going to get challenged right from the get-go,â€ť Frye said. â€śItâ€™s good that weâ€™ve scrimmaged the people that we have. Itâ€™s prepared us.
â€śAnd of course in practice our defense gets a lot of looks at the running game. So weâ€™ve helped in both areas.â€ť
The Wapak defense struggled on third downs in its two scrimmages. Frye said that will have to change Friday night.
â€śIf itâ€™s third-and-long, defensively, we need to finish and get off the football field,â€ť he said.
In a 21-7, two-quarter scrimmage win over Minster last week, Wapak got a big play on defense from transfer Kevin Kraft, who ended a Minster drive with an interception and long return.
Kraft also made a big play on special teams, returning the kickoff after Minsterâ€™s only touchdown 85 yards for a score.
Turnovers and special teams could be a major factor in the game.
â€śThe coaches point to the No. 1 stat over the win-loss is the plus-minus turnover ratio,â€ť Frye said. â€śWe need to take care of the football.â€ť
If they stay focused, the Redskins should be able to do just that.
Even if a skydiver drops in.