Fred Trotta does more than take one for the team-he takes more than one position for it.
The senior stepped up his training after his sophomore year before becoming an offensive guard and inside linebacker for the Indians that fall. Yet, after developing even further, Fred became a tight end last year prior to hopping around the lineup by becoming a wide receiver and outside linebacker with 43 tackles, a fumble recovery, and a safety in Guilford's first eight games this season.
"It's been great jumping around the field. I will play wherever the team needs me to be; whether it's for our team to be more stacked for stalk blocking or whatever," says Fred, who averages 5.4 tackles a game. "It's also great because I get to see a lot more different coaching as well with our staff. I have always kept in my mind that someone out there is working harder and getting better when you aren't out there, so I have to play my best for both myself and the team."
Head Coach Tom Unger praises Fred for his team-first attributes and drive.
"Fred has been a great example of how effort creates ability. I firmly believe the hard work, dedication, and emphasis on team are characteristics that every young man needs now more than ever," says Unger. "Through football, players like Fred can see that if they are willing to make sacrifices, work as hard as they can, and believe in themselves, then they have a shot to be successful. He has continued to play great and in addition to his role on defense, he has been a key contributor on offense as well. We needed to improve our stalk blocking on the perimeter, so we moved Fred to wide receiver and he has seamlessly transitioned to this role.?
While training at BreakOut Athlete in North Branford two days a week and working with teammates for four, Fred switched from the line to tight end.
"Freshman into sophomore year, I started lifting and training four to five times a week, and then I started adding on BreakOut Athlete, and I worked to the point where things became a skill," says Fred. "I had linemen hands, so it took hard work learning how to catch as a tight end. I went to passing leagues in the summer, which were valuable assets for me in a pass-happy league."
He then grew in speed to become a wide out, as he caught two balls for 24 yards in a 30-7 win at Branford on Oct. 11.
"My speed started to develop to the point where I was quicker from a two-point stance. We were also able to put [seniors] Ford Linell and Dane Lawrence on the same side of the line to help out stalk blocking," says Fred, who also had his safety on defense that night. "Both catches that game were on 3rd down; [quarterback] Joe Nault was able to find me and I give credit to my line."
Fred then received the game ball after a two-tackle showing at East Haven on Oct. 18.
"My objective that night was to play their quarterback and keep him from pitching the ball off," Fred says. "Without Nault on defense, I had to step up and take the leadership role on that side of the ball. I gave encouragement and didn't want to give up a touchdown [a 33-0 win]."
His new spot in the linebacking core has given Fred another chance to show his quickness.
"At outside linebacker, there are more reads, yet you have a larger area of the field, and it's another place to utilize my speed," says Fred. "There is more scheming at that position as well. "
He concludes that it's much of the same with Guilford trying to finish over .500.
"It will be lots of work, but we just have to continue to work hard, keep a level head, and push through," says Fred, who thanks Unger, his family, and Frank Quido with BreakOut Athlete. "Everything looks good; we are in a great position and couldn't be scheming any better."