1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Profile on junior quarterback

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by ltrain1127, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. ltrain1127

    ltrain1127 Member

    Go ahead, guys. Shred it up. In advance, I just want to thank all of you for your feedback.

    Pat answer at QB for Indians

    There are certain plays that many 15-year-old quarterbacks can’t make in their third game as the starter, in the playoffs, with the game on the line.
    Pat Quaglieri did just that on the biggest play of the 2006 season for the Mukwonago Indians.
    He checked off once, checked off twice, and then hit Dan Zwirlein in stride as his third read. Zwirlein rambled 62 yards all the way to the Janesville Parker 4-yard line. One play later, the Indians scored the game-winning touchdown to seal an upset of the No. 2-ranked team in the state.
    That capped a three-month turn of fortune for Quaglieri, now a junior, that saw him open camp as a linebacker, moved to cornerback and finally settled in at quarterback.
    “It was tough at the end because I didn’t get the full reps at quarterback until the end,” Quaglieri said last week during the first week of practice for the upcoming season. “I didn’t have a problem with it at the time, because I was just happy to be moved up.”
    His whirlwind season saw Quaglieri inserted into the starting lineup in week 8 of the season as the Indians were fighting for their playoff lives facing a must-win against Waukesha West.
    “The playoff thing was never on my mind,” Quaglieri said.
    He’s probably right, as he still had to master the intricacies of the Indians’ triple-option attack.
    “I would say he did what we wanted him to do,” head coach Bill Schulte said. “He really grew up in a hurry. He’s about the only one I can think of right now who could (switch between three positions in one season). We knew he was a competitor and athletic. We just had to find a spot where he could best help us.”
    Cool under pressure, coachable and quiet, Quaglieri helped offensive coordinator Jon Stillman realize the coaching staff had made the right decision to switch early in the week of the West game.
    “When I saw him the Monday morning after we had made the decision to make the switch, I asked him if he was ready,” Stillman recalled. “He asked me, for what. I knew right then, he would be able to handle it. He knew what I was talking about. Putting a sophomore in with our playoff lives on the line, we were expecting a lot out of him.”
    Stillman, who also works with the team’s quarterbacks, said Quaglieri’s steady improvement helped make the decision easier. On the scout team, he had been giving the first-team defense fits, Stillman noted.
    “The senior class last year was a big influence on that,” Quaglieri said. “They made me comfortable. I think playing quarterback on Monday nights in reserve games helped me a lot. The guys really accepted me. They made me feel that was the best place for me on the team. I had no control over it.”
    Stillman said one of the junior signal-caller’s best traits, and one that helped him immensely down the stretch of last season, was that he rarely makes the same mistake twice.
    “We didn’t ask him to win games, we just asked him to manage games,” Stillman said. “He made some very good reads in the games he played.”
    The poise Quaglieri showed during his four games as the starting quarterback has given him the base of confidence and knowledge he needs as he helps prepare the offense for the opening game of the season, Aug. 24 at Menomonie.
    “I’m just glad I have a whole pre-season working with the offense,” Quaglieri said. He said he needs to “just get used to the fullbacks, getting a good relationship with them.”
    Schulte can see the changes in Quaglieri, even after just a few days of practice.
    “He’s a lot stronger,” the head coach said. “He worked hard in the offseason. He’s more confident. He can look you in the eye. He’s worked hard to improve himself. We have to keep him healthy.”
    While the Indians are known as a running team, living and dying with the strength of their option attack, Quaglieri serves as more than just a human hand-off machine. On some plays, he has to make three reads almost instantaneously before deciding whether to give the ball to the fullback, the halfback or keep it himself.
    “In option football, the quarterback has two, maybe three, decisions to make on every play,” Stillman said. “To the untrained eye, it might look like he has just one decision.”
    “He’s the one who’s pulling the rabbit out of the hat,” Schulte said. “A lot of people think they want to be the quarterback at Mukwonago, but not many can handle the pressure.”
    This season, Quaglieri will jump from the frying pan of last season’s playoff run into the fire of the Indians’ first three opponents, state-ranked Menomonie, Marquette and Arrowhead.
    “I think we should definitely be excited to play against such high-caliber teams, because it just makes us better,” Quaglieri said.
  2. DGRollins

    DGRollins Member

    Since I often use this feature, it's fair that I give back....

    I find this lead confusing. "There are many plays that...Pat Quaglieri did just that..."

    Did just what? I'd start with an anecdotal lead of the play, then drop the information that the QB was inexperienced...

    I'm not sure the "The playoff thing was never on my mind" quote is relevant to your story--this is a profile of what the kid brings now, not a recap of what he did then.

    Also, have the coach tell us why the triple-option is "intricate." To me the QB in an option offense needs to be athletic, not necessarily football-smart. So I have questions there. And I'm a reader that knows what a triple-option is...imagine what kind of questions those who don't would have.

    There is something about this passage that makes me cringe. It's likely the "coachable and quiet" cliche. Or maybe it's the "helping the coaching staff" bit. The story could do without this, regardless.

    Ahh...the "just don't F it up kid" approach to quarterbacking. Sounds like an option offense school, yep. So...why are we talking about this kid again? Give me some more reasons why he's going to be a difference maker this season. Otherwise, you might want to go talk to the fullback.

    Did Quaglieri tell you that his experience last year "has given him the base of confidence and knowledge he needs as he helps prepare the offense for the opening game of the season?" Because if he didn't, you have no idea if that statement is true.
    This should be higher in the piece.

    Get rid of the cliche.
  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    LTrain -

    Thanks for posting. And thanks as well to DGR for weighing in with some excellent suggestions.

    I'm going to follow up on his suggestion to reorder your lede for clarity and strength. Right now, it gets weaker as it goes on. If you can't render it in scene, in detail, as a moment-by-moment description of the action as DG suggested, I'd try something like this next time around:

    A 15-year-old quarterback can’t make that play. Can not. Not in his third game as a starter. Not in the playoffs. Not with the season on the line.

    Check off once, check off twice, then hit the third read in stride for 62 yards to set up the game-winning touchdown and seal an upset of the No. 2-ranked team in the state?

    Pat Quaglieri did just that on the biggest play of the 2006 season for the Mukwonago Indians.

    That capped a three-month turn of fortune for Quaglieri....

    Or something. Just a thought.

    Thanks again for sharing your work with us.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page