Frizen ready to lead Bulldogs

Litza Craig

Bulldog fans will see few familiar faces returning to Bill Young Field this season. Perhaps the biggest change will be seeing junior Nicky Frizen starting under center. “Nicky is [very] coachable,” Bearden High School Football Coach Brad Taylor said. “He leads by example.” It was in third grade when Frizen started out playing quarterback in the Cedar Bluff Farragut Organization, also known as CBFO. “I have always wanted to be a quarterback,” Frizen said. Now, eight years later, Frizen is a junior and will be the starting quarterback for Bearden’s 2011 varsity football team. ”It’s exciting, but we’re going to be young,” Frizen said. “But we have a chance to go deep, really deep into the playoffs.” With high hopes this season, the Bearden High Football team wants to be one of the top two teams in their district (4-AAA). “I think that we’re gonna surprise a lot of people,” Taylor said. “Obviously we are young, but we have good talent especially in our back field. We have a nice stable of running backs. I think we will make it to the playoffs and have a winning experience.” Bearden’s past three quarter backs leave a winning legacy. Dawson Halliday led the Bulldogs to a record breaking season of 12-2 in 2007, helping Bearden beat rival Farragut for the first time in eight tries and taking Bearden to the state semifinals for the first and only time. In 2008, Ryan Potter led his team with a 9-3 record, leading the Bulldogs to the first round of the playoffs. Kyle Reimer led the Dogs to a 9-4 record and the state quarterfinals in his 2010 campaign. With these types of accomplishments preceding him, Frizen faces some pressure to keep Bearden’s winning tradition alive. “There is always pressure when you are [playing] in a good program like this,” Frizen said. “[But] it feels natural. It’s balanced. No one [specifically] has it on their shoulders.” With only four returning seniors and an inexperienced quarterback leading the Bulldogs, this season will have its challenges. “[Frizen] has a different style than Kyle,” offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Andre Caballero said, “but he is a hard worker with good leadership capabilities.” The Bulldogs have worked all summer long adjusting to Frizen’s new style of quarterbacking and have confidence in their new leader. “I think he will be really good for us this year,” senior running back Josh Haney said. “I think that he has got a good head on his shoulders. I trust him a lot and I think we all do.” Although there are a few bumps in the road in store for Bulldog’s journey toward the playoffs, they know that their junior quarterback will have a major role. “He has to be the manager of the offense,” Coach Taylor said. “We need to execute the offense. That is going to be the key.”