It's All About the Arms


Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:42 pm
By: News On 6


Originally Published: Aug 21, 2010 2:14 PM CDT

Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

TULSA, Oklahoma – When you scanned through the lineups on the high school football field last season, it wasn’t hard to spot the one common thread on every gold ball roster:

Talented Quarterbacks.

There is no debate. The signal caller is the main component to a championship run. The Union Redskins won the 6A title in 2009 thanks in large part to senior gunslinger, Chase Boyce. Carl Albert topped Bixby in the 5A championship game because of the strong right arm of J.T. Realmuto.

The examples go on and on.

“It’s the guy that touches the ball every time,” said Lincoln Christian head coach Darren Melton. “It’s very important. He’s the field general, which is by the nature of the position.”

Cale Grauer led Melton’s Bulldogs to a championship in blowout fashion. Lincoln Christian outscored its opponents 185-24 in the playoffs a year ago. Grauer’s experience and poise earned him a lot of the praise. Those are the characteristics that breed success under center.

“He’s going to be the leader,” said Melton of the quarterback. “People are going to look to him for leadership during the football game at one point or another, maybe every snap on offense.”

The quarterback is more than just the guy touching the ball most often. He makes the most crucial decisions in the game, and has to execute them flawlessly every snap.

“There’s a lot of pressure, there’s no question,” Cascia Hall head coach Joe Medina said before fall practices began. “We haven’t decided on our quarterback yet, so whoever ends up getting that job obviously has some big shoes to fill.”

That’s because the Commandos have won three state titles in a row. In 2009, Stephen Rouse led them to a 21-0 win over Berryhill in the title game. He has since made the University of Tulsa roster as a walk-on. The Commandos have since named senior Timmy Curthoys their starting quarterback.

The bar has been set high for quarterbacks all over the state.

“I think it’s pretty important,” Union head coach Kirk Fridrich said when asked about naming a starter early on in fall practice. “You can’t deny that the quarterback position is one that needs leadership. They need to lead, because that’s where (team) leadership needs to come from.”

The ability to haul in another gold ball in 2010 is directly tied to the passer. Everyone in the huddle looks for direction from the guy throwing the passes.

“I don’t think they have to be the most talented person in the whole world, but they don’t have to understand your system,” said Melton. “They do have to be confident and they have to understand what you’re doing and what you’re thinking as a coach.”

Check out our high school football forum and get ready for the 2010 season.