East York’s starting quarterback position is up for grabs.
One of the hopefuls for the Toronto high school, Johnathan Patriquin-Luedee, is a returning senior quarterback from last year while Chris Larsen is coming up from the junior ranks and they are both going for the same position.
“Competing for quarterback is difficult because you want to show the coaches that you have the skill to play in the game compared to the other guy,” Patriquin-Luedee said before practice after school.
“You want to show him that you have the mindset to be able to perform in the game.”
Patriquin-Luedee also competed against another student last season for starting pivot but didn’t get the position. However, he had the chance to play the Goliaths’ last two games as a starter against Lawrence Park and Northern.
“I’m just trying to be a leader,” the 17-year-old said. “I want to help the team and help the people who need help. I’m trying to be the same way I’ve been in all the other years that I’ve been quarterback.”
Patriquin-Luedee has been trying out for the starting quarterback position since Grade 9 when he started playing for his high school. He was up against a Grade 10 that year but lost that position and became a receiver.
As the underdog this year, it is Larsen’s first time in the passing role after playing linebacker in the junior ranks.
“I guess the coaches are looking for whether you can remember the play, leadership role since quarterbacks have to be the leader of the rest of the offence, and also just someone who knows what’s going on and is aware at all times.”
Larsen started playing football at East York in Grade 9 as well and his junior football team finished 5-0 in the 2011 season where he played defence and slotback.
Glenn Edwards suggested the new position in the off-season.
“Number one he’s a phenomenal athlete,” Edwards said on the field during practice. “Number two is that in his pleasure [time] when he is playing with the boys, he can throw it [football] really well.
“Just instinctively, he can do things. He’s got pretty good speed so he adds that running element to it and he’s tall and he throws a sweet ball and he doesn’t know it.”
Both students claim they have a good friendship and the competition is strictly a friendly rivalry.
Larsen says that if he does not end up getting the position, he may play either defense or offense.
After five practices, coach Edwards is very impressed with the two competitors.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to having either one out there to start,” he said. “It would not be upsetting to me at all as to who is going to start. It would be more them [Jon and Chris] being upset.”
The Goliaths finished 0-5 last year under Edwards who has been East York’s football coach since 2002 which was the re-start of football after eight years of absence.
It was also the first time the senior football team failed to make the playoffs.
East York has been successful in the past years as they made the quarter-finals from 2008 to 2010. The school also made the city finals in 2006 and 2007 but lost to Richview both times.
With the Goliaths first game of the regular season next week, Patriquin-Luedee is optimistic about the team’s upcoming season.
“We have to come back and make a statement that we are not a 0-5 team and that we are a 5-0 team,” he said.
The football schedule has not been released yet, nor is the team that East York will be facing. But the decision for who will become the Goliaths starting quarterback will be determined by next week.