By ERIC KEPPELER
The Tonawanda News
KENMORE — Kenmore West junior Adam Fron doesn’t shy away from the critical responsibility of leadership that comes with being the Blue Devils’ starting quarterback.
In fact, he thrives on it.
With all of three career varsity contests under his belt, Fron has already cemented himself into position as the conductor of West’s offensive orchestra.
“You’ve really got to lead by example — that’s like a requirement for the position,” Fron said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep your head up, especially when things aren’t going your way on the scoreboard – but you’ve got to keep your head up, and make sure everyone else does, too.”
Making the jump from junior varsity to starting varsity quarterack would be hard enough – but the Blue Devils have set some lofty standards in recent years, winning the Section VI Class AA-North crown in each of the last two seasons and making the playoffs in four of the last five campaigns.
But Fron has been unfazed by the expectations, according to veteran head coach Rich Harris.
“He’s really embraced the leadership role,” Harris said. “As the quarterback of a team, you have to be a leader — you have to be that person that everyone else
can count on to move the offense. You’ve got to make things happen out there, and calm people down after mistakes. You just have to be the guy.”
Fron has some big shoes to fill, replacing graduated All-WNY signal caller Marcus Lobdell — who was a big part of the team’s success.
Fron was probably the front-runner in the competition to land the starting gig this season, but the job wasn’t handed to him. He had to earn it.
“They’re used to success here, and we want to build on that,” Fron said. “We have high expectations.”
At 1-2, the season hasn’t gone as well as the Devils would like — although the two losses were against perennial powerhouses from Jamestown (27-8) and Sweet Home (28-6), with a 21-14 win against Hutch Tech sandwiched in between.
Fron’s first varsity start came in the extremely hostile Astroturf stadium in Jamestown, and Harris couldn’t fault his rookie for looking like a deer in headlights.
“That’s a tough place to play for anyone,” Harris said.
Fron’s stats through three games are respectable if somewhat pedestrian, although skewed by the level of competition.
He’s completed 18 of 42 pass attempts for 222 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also rushed 18 times for 47 yards and another score.
“As a quarterback, you want to complete all of your passes, make all of the correct reads and put the ball exactly where it needs to be,” Fron said. “I’m working on it.”
And while Harris is happy with what he’s seen so far from his quarterback, he knows that plenty of upside remains. The coach knows that Fron will only get better with time.
“He’s got to throw a little better,” Harris said. “He needs a little more arm strength, his mechanics have to get a little better, and he has to be able to make his reads quicker. But he’s only played in three varsity games — those are all things that come with experience. He’s definitely got all of the tools to succeed.”