Two Austin seniors lock up their football future
Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2023
It was a day of celebration for the Austin football team as an undersized wide receiver with big heart and a coach’s kid who had an injury reroute his path both signed their national-letter-of-intent to play college football at Austin High School Wednesday.
Manny Guy committed to Division III University of Minnesota-Morris and Tommy Fritz committed to NAIA Dordt College.
Both players left a big impact on head coach Ed Schmitt, who started as head coach when they were each freshman.
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“Manny was a small wide receiver, but his heart was huge for us. There was a day this past year where I was down a little bit and Manny pulled me aside and asked if I was alright. He said he was here for me and for a young man to do that for a coach, I’ll never forget that,” Schmitt said. “I’ve known Tommy for a long time with his dad being on staff and it had to kill him to sit there and watch when he was hurt last year. He’s a hard working kid and he’s strong and fast.”
Guy used his quickness and speed to get loose on the football field as he emerged as a big play threat for the Packers over the past two seasons. He always had his mind on playing football at the next level.
“I just kept working,” Guy said. “Coach (Tom) Compton helped get me to where I am right now and he taught me the little things to do to be a good wide receiver. I always wanted to play college football and I’ve been watching football since I was little. I’m just happy to have the chance.”
Fritz came on the Packer sports scene as a wrestler, but an injury in his sophomore season derailed his momentum in that sport. Then he was sidetracked again when he suffered a football injury as a junior.
“I was really good at wrestling and once I got hurt my sophomore season, I wasn’t really able to wrestle any more. It’s kind of mind blowing to me now,” Fritz said. “There was a thought in the back of my head during rehab if I was even going to be able to play during my senior year of high school. Now I’m going to play college football. The hard work has paid off.”
Both Guy and Fritz also had to play through the COVID-19 pandemic in their developmental years, which cost them playing time and practice time. It didn’t slow either of them down and they’re both happy for each other as they move on to the next level.
“Ever since Manny started playing, he’s always been competitive and he took it to the next level when I got injured,” Fritz said. “I saw that drive in him and we kind of pushed each other this year. It’s really exciting to see him working hard.”
Fritz had 583 rushing yards and four TDs with 219 receiving yards and three TDs this past season. He also had 61 tackles and an interception for a score.
Guy caught 18 passes for 419 yards and six TDs.
The Cougars of Minnesota-Morris went 5-5 overall this past season and the Dordt Defenders went 7-3 overall.
Dordt is located in Sioux Center, Iowa.