Above: George Frazier, aka G5, is in a battle for the starting job.
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
MONROVIA – George Frazier V is no Nick Bueno. Blake Heyworth isn’t, either.
Neither Monrovia High School junior quarterback claims to be the next coming of Bueno, the 2011 CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division offensive player of the year who led the Wildcats to a CIF-SS championship last season.
“I play a different style than Nick,” Frazier said. “I’m not as shifty and I won’t run as much.
“People say the pressure is there. In my eyes, I’m a whole different person. It’s a whole other year, a whole other team.”
Both quarterbacks, however, hope to be taking the most snaps this season and replicate Bueno’s feat.
“You can’t replace (Bueno),” coach Ryan Maddox said. “He was a special player, but we have some very good young kids.
“It’s going to look a little different. We’re not going to ask Blake or George to do what Nick did. They are different types of quarterbacks. We’ll take what they do well and work from that.”
Bueno was the Wildcats’ quarterback for three seasons. Last year, he completed 108 of 201 passes for 1,828 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,513 yards and 14 scores.
Below: Blake Heyworth during practice Thursday.
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Frazier, an All-CIF linebacker last season, played in five games at quarterback last season, completing 5 of 13 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Heyworth didn’t play on the varsity team at St. Francis last season and transferred to Monrovia where his family lives because of financial reasons. He began working out with Monrovia in June.
“It was tough leaving my friends,” he said. “It’s going to work out here.”
The two players took an equal number of snaps during Thursday’s first day of full-pads practice.
And for the first time in three years, Maddox couldn’t declare a first-day starter when practice began.
“At this point in time, yeah, they’re equal,” Maddox said. “They push each other. They’re just battling.”
Frazier, however, has a slight edge, but not because he played last season. The Wildcats are waiting for CIF-SS administrators to clear Heyworth’s transfer. Maddox said paperwork was filed last week.
“Your position is never safe on the football field, no matter where you are, no matter your tenure,” Frazier said. “You have to battle for a spot. It’s never easy.”
Maddox cited the leadership role of each and said he wasn’t that concerned about a replacement.
“We know what (Frazier) can do,” he said. “He is an amazing leader and that’s what you want out of a quarterback. We knew he would be able to step into that role and handle it.”
Maddox said Heyworth’s fundamentals and leadership skills are ideal.
Neither player has the same rollout style Bueno displayed. Frazier said he prefers to throw the ball. Heyworth, who wears a brace on his left knee because of an injury last season, is even more of a pocket passer who’s had to learn to run a bit in the Wildcats’ offense.
“He’s been great to me,” Heyworth said of Frazier. “He’s been bringing me along, showing me everything. He’s a great leader. Whenever I need help with some of the plays or concepts, he helps me out. I’m just trying to help this team win another CIF championship.”