Frye, Riders Prepare For Upcoming Season

St. Marys Roughriders football coach Doug Frye talks to St. Marys Rotarians on Wednesday about the upcoming football season.
Sports Editor

Nine days until the start of the 2019 football season, St. Marys head coach Doug Frye made his annual appearance at St. Marys Rotary on Wednesday to share an update on his program — which is preparing for its final scrimmage on Friday at Bellefontaine.

Friday’s scrimmage at Bellefontaine will kick off a month of games on the road, including at Sidney week 1, at Wapakoneta week 2 and at Ottawa-Glandorf in week 3.

“Of all the years I have coached, this is probably the longest time on the road,” Frye said. “But we are going to try our best to weather that and get off to a good start.”

Frye talked about the Roughriders’ season opener against Sidney on Aug. 30. He praised the talent former player and Sidney head coach Adam Doenges has, stating that the Yellow Jackets have four Division I-caliber football players, including wide receiver Quamir “Philly” Brown, who scored four touchdowns in a recent scrimmage against Edgewood and Clinton-Massie.

“He runs a legit 4.4 [seconds in 40 yards],” Frye said. “And they have another kid who is looking to go to Grand Valley State [Darren Taborn] so they have some kids.”

Frye also praised the popularity that football enjoys in St. Marys.

He said that this summer’s flag football program had around 180 kids and 132 kids attended the Roughrider Alumni Camp.

“We have done a lot of little things that I think are promoting our sport throughout the community and making things exciting for our young kids,” he said. “The future of our program looks very bright down the road.”

Frye then touched on a question he has been getting since last summer, an opening game for next year’s schedule.

Last May, Sidney dropped St. Marys from its schedule after this season, leaving the program scrambling to find a week 1 opponent. Last fall, Frye had said that Bowling Green was on the radar as a possible week 1 opponent for the future, but the situation broke down with both teams would be scheduled to be home next season. That meant that someone would have to give up a home game. 

Since then, it has been a process to find a week 1 opponent for the 2020 season.

“Unfortunately for us, I think we were a lot more of a popular item when we lost 21 straight games compared to the success we have had the last three years,” Frye said. “I have probably sent out about 85 emails and I have gotten about 10 back saying that they are not interested. We are trying to plug in a ball game, which is not easy when you have success.

“I know a lot of the MAC teams have had success and I have had to look at Canada and other places to try to find an opening ball game. But we are getting closer and we are talking seriously to a couple of schools.”

The coach also touched on rule changes this year, with the biggest one being the 40-second play clock. This season, as soon as a play is over, the play clock will run. In year’s past, the game clock did not run until officials spotted the ball and the referee signaled that the clock is running.

“Until I see it a little more — we didn’t do it in our Findlay scrimmage but will probably see it more at Bellefontaine — and I don’t know if it is going to change things much,” he said. “The biggest concern is getting the football on the field when they need a new ball after a play … but the new rule is designed to decrease the dead time in between plays.

“But I am not concerned about the time that it takes to get the play in, I get our plays in pretty quickly.”

To read the full story, see Thursday's print edition of The Evening Leader.