In Tonopah, the Muckers have the same situation as the Trojans. With less than a few weeks before pads go on, Coach Duffy Otteson finds himself with two quarterbacks.
Otteson said the player filling the quarterback position for the Muckers will have good ball handling skills.
Last year’s quarterback, Seth Littlefield, graduated leaving the position vacant. Seth and his twin brother Spencer dominated the team offensively for the past couple of years. Spencer was a running back.
Junior Connor Friel is usually a quiet laid-back guy, but get him talking about sports he perks up a bit. Friel and Jimmy Withers are competing for Muckers’ quarterback.
Friel believes having both Littlefields gone will be better for the team.
“The two usually just competed with themselves. In a way, we are doing better because, when they played, no one else could pitch in to help out,” Friel said.
As far as the competition with Withers, Friel welcomes the challenge. He said the two are not strangers. He has been playing with Withers in sports all his life. There may be some bad blood between the two, but in a small town between competitive people it is natural.
“We have been going at each other our whole lives in every sport. It does not really change anything. I feel he is just more talk. The plays are pretty easy to catch on to. I think I have enough talent to beat him,” said Friel.
Withers will be tough to beat. He is just as confident as Friel. He came out last week and said he should win the spot because he was backup to Seth for two years and knows all the plays. He also feels he is quicker and has an accurate arm.
This did not deter Friel from voicing his opinion.
Friel said there are some differences between him and Withers. He believes Withers may have a slight advantage being more familiar with the plays. Last year Friel had an injury to his hand and could not play football. Otherwise, Friel said he has been playing football just as long as Withers. Friel started playing the game when he was in third grade.
“When Withers sees a play it seems like it automatically goes into his brain. He catches on to the plays pretty quickly and easier. Once I see the play run it is easier for me,” he said.
In the end, Friel believes there really is no advantage with either one at quarterback. He said in his mind both are talented.
“I am just going to go out and have fun out there and help the team as much as I can,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s from the quarterback position or the receiver position as long as I am helping the team out as much as I can.”
Friel plays other sports and is a three-sport athlete with basketball being his best and favorite sport. He also plays baseball. When it comes to college he hopes to play either baseball or basketball for a college team, but which college is still a mystery to him.
Otteson says whoever wins the quarterback position, the Muckers will have a good quarterback with a good backup. ‘