Billies signal caller set for football in Big Apple
A small-town Texas quarterback is about to cast his lot in the big city.
Fredericksburg High School senior Will Flannery signed a scholarship to play football for NCAA Division I school Wagner College, a liberal arts college based out of Staten Island in New York City, on Wednesday at FHS Gym.
“I’m stoked,” Flannery said. “It’s been my dream since I was little to play Division I football. I saw an opportunity to do it and maybe play baseball, and to see New York City. It’s a great school. It’s a dream come true.”
Flannery’s DI scholarship comes as no surprise to FHS athletic director and head football coach Lance Moffett, who says Flannery has the intelligence to transition to college football without trouble.
“He was a three-sport athlete two years in a row,” Moffett said. “He kind of epitomizes what our program’s about, so I’m not surprised at all. The strength that Will has that sets him apart from other kids is that he’s very cerebral in terms of the game. He understands the game as good as anybody we’ve coached.”
FHS made back-to-back playoff trips during Flannery’s two years starting at quarterback.
He ended his FHS career with 2,482 passing yards and 32 touchdowns.
Flannery, who’s also considering joining the baseball team as a walk-on, will play in the Northeast Conference of Division I’s Football Championship Subdivision, and is set for a loaded quarterback competition in the fall.
He sees it as a good fit despite the nearly 1,800-mile distance between Fredericksburg and Staten Island.
“They’ve got a great business program. It’s up and coming,” Flannery said. “The coaches are all pretty young and ambitious, which is a huge plus for me. These guys want to be successful as much as I want to be successful. They do have a pretty good recruiting class this year and they have a bunch of quarterbacks, so it will be a competition this year.”
The biggest challenge might be the adjustment to a colder climate, considering Staten Island’s average temperature is 46.9 degrees in November.
“The first time I visited was on Easter Sunday, and I’m thinking it’s April and it’s going to be pretty warm,” Flannery said. “I got there and it was pouring down snow, like four or five inches. I’m thinking it’s way too cold for April, but I went again a couple of weeks ago and it was warm and nice. I liked the atmosphere.”
The senior signal caller marks the fourth FHS football player to sign up for a future on Saturdays.
Moffett says its “very cool” to see Flannery chase his dream of playing Division I football after graduating from FHS.
“I’m very proud for him and extremely excited for his family and the fact that’s he’s going to go on and represent our program and do what he wanted to do,” Moffett said. “This is one of his dreams and we were extremely supportive of that. I’m just excited that it became reality.”