Frye Talks About 2019 Season

St. Marys football coach Doug Frye talks at Kiwanis on Tuesday
Sports Editor

In his first public appearance since St. Marys lost in a Division IV state semifinal to the eventual state champion Wyoming, Roughriders coach Doug Frye spoke to St. Marys Kiwanians on Tuesday about the state of the team for the upcoming season and the challenges with this year’s.

The coach did not touch on the 2018 season too much — a season that saw St. Marys capture its third straight Western Buckeye League crown and earned its first regional championship in 14 years.

However, he did praise his players and had praise for Wyoming’s junior quarterback Evan Prater — who scored all five of the Cowboys’ touchdowns in their state semi matchup with St. Marys.

“That kid is the real deal,” he said. “There was a couple of time when Sean Perry — who was the D-IV player of the year defensively in the state of Ohio — really had him zeroed down for a big play and Prater was just athletic enough to make a move.”

Frye then went into the future and shared some insight on the 2019 season. This year will mark the final season the Roughriders play against Sidney as the Yellow Jackets change leagues and will have Bellefontaine as its lone non-league team on the schedule.

As the last he heard, Frye said Wapakoneta is still in need of a week 1 opponent. St. Marys is also in need of one, but Frye said there was not a team who had stepped up to fill that week 1 void.

“I think we might have been a more popular item during our 21-game losing streak as far as getting someone to play us,” he said. “Right now, we are not getting a whole lot of responses back.
“We have talked to some schools a little further away trying to not only work out something that will be a competitive game, but one that will also draw a good crowd.”

With the WBL schedule rotating this season, the Roughriders’ week 10 opponent, Wapakoneta, will be played on week 2 for the next two seasons. St. Marys will then open the 2019 season at Bellefontaine for the Chicken Bowl scrimmage, then week 1 at Sidney, week 2 at Wapakoneta and week 3 at Ottawa-Glandorf.

With the schedule set up that way, Frye said he had to convince Findlay to play its early August scrimmage in St. Marys so the Roughriders would not spend the first two months of the season on the road.

“The challenge is the schedule this year,” Frye said. “If I didn’t convince Findlay to come down here, we would be on the road for the first five weeks of the season. And all of the teams we open the season with return a bulk of their football teams from last year.
“So the beginning of that schedule is not easy and I don’t care what level of football you are playing, it is difficult, especially with high school players.”