Friday, October 14, 2011

New Article on Kenny Fryman from The Mechanicsville Local

Kenny FrymanFryman sizzling on defense for Hampden-Sydney

Published: October 11, 2011
By Charlie Leffler
The Hampden-Sydney football team entered this season at a serious disadvantage when it came to experience on defense. Therefore to solidify the Tigers’ ability to stop opposing offenses, Head Coach Marty Favret looked to a pair of former Hanover High School players to step up their play.  Juniors Kenny Fryman and Steven Fogleman accepted that responsibility, excelling at linebacker and safety which allowed H-SC run off to a 5-1 start and outscore their opponents 239-105 through six games.

Fogleman was a dominant force in the Tigers’ secondary, recording 18 tackles, an interception and three pass breakups through the first four games before suffering a season ending knee injury at Huntingdon College on September 24.

With the loss of Fogleman the full weight of defensive leadership fell to Fryman. “We lost our starting safety Steven Fogleman, he’s the heartbeat of our team and that was a big blow,” Fryman said. “I knew I had to step up and lead the guys and I’m really excited about what we’re doing right now.”

There is no question that Fryman has filled the role with gusto. Through six games, he leads the Tigers’ defense with 53 tackles and 6.5 tackles for a loss.

From physical appearance, few would expect Fryman to be a defensive leader. At 5-10, Fryman gives up several inches to virtually every player he’s matched up against. But he attributes his success to preparation, specifically the guidance provided by 13-year NFL veteran Glen Young. As the Tigers’ linebacker coach, Young has passed along to Fryman skills he learned while playing with the Raiders, Chargers and Seahawks.

“The coaches do a great job of telling us where to go,” Fryman said. “My coach played in the NFL, I just do what he tells me to do and he puts me in the right spots and I’m able to make the plays I need to make.”

Nowhere was Fryman’s ‘do-anything-for-the-win’ mentality more evident on Saturday than during a late third quarter drive by Bridgewater. While stopping Eagles’ running back Darren McKenzie on second down at the H-SC 9-yard line Fryman lost his right shoe. The Eagles were looking to tie the game with a third and four play leaving Fryman scrambling to get his shoe back on. He could not do so before the next play was run, which fortunately ended in an incomplete pass.

Bridgewater hurried to the line to run a fourth down play and Fryman still did not have his shoe fully on. Likewise, he did not want to leave the field because he felt it was his responsibility to lead the defense and prevent a score despite the setback.

As Fryman reluctantly raced to the sidelines he sighed with relief when Bridgewater called a timeout allowing him to not miss an important defensive play.

“I think at linebacker, we always call it the heartbeat of the team because we bring the energy, we bring the hits, we just try to get it lined up right,” Fryman said. “If we do our job the defense usually has a good game.”

This Saturday H-SC travels to Emory & Henry for a 1 p.m. ODAC matchup.

Another local product having a standout season for the Tigers is junior halfback John Michael Sparagna, better known to teammates at J-Mike.

For Sparagna, the key to success has simply been enjoying the moment. “For me, I’m out here having a good time hanging out with my buddies and I love winning,” he said.

Through the first two games of the season the Atlee product averaged 12.8 yards per catch and 57.6 receiving yards per game.

But injury slowed Sparagna down. “I’ve been struggling for a couple of weeks with a sprained ankle but I’m back now having a good time,” he said.

Back at 100 percent on Saturday, Sparagna pulled in an important 14-yard catch that set up Hampden-Sydney’s go ahead score in the third quarter.

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