Lecanto's Frieberg showing he can produce in clutch
Senior is displaying his skills at wingback and strong safety.
By RICHARD BURTON
Published October 21, 2005
LECANTO - Lecanto's Garrett Frieberg never doubted his ability to make big plays. As a 5-foot-8, 150-pound freshman, he went out for wide receiver on the Panthers' junior varsity/freshman team and impressed coaches with his hands.
But Frieberg was waiting for the chance to showcase his skills. He got it earlier this season against Leesburg in a 28-26 Lecanto win.
Frieberg, now a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, recorded 171 all-purpose yards and scored on a 15-yard Mychal Nichols pass in which Frieberg broke two tackles to tie the game and set up Dustin Young's go-ahead two-point conversion in the final minute.
"It boosted my confidence a lot," Frieberg said. "I said to myself, "Hey, I can do this.' "
Frieberg is a three-year starter and among seven two-way players, performing at wingback and strong safety.
"His attitude has been great this year," coach Bob LeCours said. "He's a lot more focused and is very coachable."
Frieberg played two seasons in Illinois before moving to Florida. He attended Citrus Springs Middle School, which didn't have a program. "I couldn't wait to get back to football," Frieberg said. "I really like the fact that football is the one sport where you can take out your frustrations on your opponent."
Frieberg grew four inches, gained 25 pounds and improved in the 40-yard dash from 5.5 seconds to 4.9 during his four years at Lecanto. He also boosted his bench press to 195 pounds and squat to 390.
Aside from his prowess on the field, Frieberg has a 3.7 grade-point average.
"He's a kid that comes to practice every day and works hard," LeCours said. "He really understands the game and what we are trying to do."
During his career, Frieberg also has played running back and joins star Richard Chaney as the team's kickoff-return threat. Against Leesburg, Frieberg broke one return for 41 yards and another for 36.
"I like returning kicks," Frieberg said. "It's just me (and my blockers) with 11 guys running at me full speed."
Despite Lecanto (3-4, 1-2 district) being in a tough position to make the Class 3A-6 playoffs after losses to Citrus and Hernando, Frieberg is looking to lead the Panthers to a winning season.
The road resumes tonight with a home game against Hudson (6-2), which LeCours calls "the best team we've faced all year."
"I think we are back to where we need to be now as far as being focused," Frieberg said. "We have really put the playoffs out of our mind and are looking to go out and win our last three games."
As one of 18 seniors on the roster, Frieberg and the rest of the class were praised by LeCours for their work in school.
"He's the kind of young man you want in your program," the coach said of Frieberg. "This is my 22nd year in coaching, and I have not had one discipline problem involving my upperclassmen.
"I've heard nothing but good things about our kids, and that makes me smile."
[Last modified October 21, 2005, 02:15:38]
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