By: John Raffel
Swan Valley's Fries continues to improve
Alex Fries, Saginaw Swan Valley quarterback, has been impressive in demonstrating his credentials so far this season.
Fries was 13-of-22 in passing for 272 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-20 Swan Valley win over Frankenmuth in the second week. In a 59-6 win over Shepherd in week five, Fries was 12-of-29 for 217 yard and three touchdowns.
Coach Kevin Gavenda’s team was 5-0 heading to a showdown with Alma. The closest of the five wins for Swan Valley was in the opener with a 21-12 win over Cedar Springs.
It’s Fries’ third year on varsity and his third year as a starter, including for the 2017 state runners-ups. Both running and throwing have been strengths for Fries. “His best passing game was probably the Frankenmuth game,” Gavenda said. “He had tremendous arm strengths. He’s doing things right before he gets rid of the ball. It helps him get in the right spot and do well. We try to keep him in the pocket. But he can do damage when he gets outside the pocket. He can pretty much make all the throws.”
Fries had 266 yards rushing through four games with 8.5 yards per carry.
“If he didn’t have the sacks taking away from his rushing total, he’d probably have over 400 games right now,” Gavenda said. “We try not to use hm as much on the ground. If we used him more, he’d be averaging more per game.”
Fries also is an excellent basketball player.
In terms of college potential, “he’s had a bunch of teams show interest,” Gavenda said. “At this point I believe the only school that has given him an offer is Mount Union, a pretty successful Division III program. He’s visited most of the Division 2 schools in the state.”