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Developing a quarterback

  • Amherst Regional quarterback Miles Foerster, right, gets instructions from the sideline during a game this season. PHILIP SANZO

For the Gazette
Published: 11/22/2016 1:53:20 AM

Building a program begins with developing a quarterback. With Amherst Regional looking to improve on its football program’s 1-10 record a year ago, one of its biggest projects has been creating a quarterback out of Miles Foerster.

Foerster is not a star quarterback, but he wants to be and he has made that evident this season. It’s a grind that he endures in every game, and every practice.

Making a quarterback

With the additions of head coach Chris Ehorn Jr. and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Stew Handel in the offseason, Amherst began the program’s revival.

Over the summer, Ehorn got in touch with Handel to discuss his plans for Foerster. His message was simple: You have the athlete, now make a quarterback.

Ehorn lived in California prior to the season and had not seen Foerster play a down, but he believed Foerster had the qualities to be the Hurricanes’ starting quarterback. According to Handel, in order to be successful at the position, a player needs to have the size.

“Honestly, I know he’s a big guy but if you look at the way a lot of teams are moving, it’s putting a bigger guy at quarterback,” Handel said. “They could take more hits and they have the ability, as Miles does, to run the ball and be a really effective threat in that way.”

Foerster’s legs have often helped him escape sacks or turn broken plays into positive yards. However, being a quarterback requires more than just the ability to run and throw.

“What I progressed most and what I’m trying to continue progressing at, because I definitely need to, is calming down when I’m on the field,” Foerster said.

For Foerster every practice has been a test of his focus and awareness.

“That is kind of the main part of our practice,” Foerster said. “Every play is like focus up, make sure you know exactly what you’re supposed to do and where other people are going and that helps out a bunch when you have someone in your corner helping you out.”

Leading by example

A quarterback is essentially the leader of the offense, and leadership is something Foerster has a knack for.

“Where we were really able to see (his leadership) was vs. Wahconah,” Ehorn said. “It was a bad loss for us and he’s on the sideline encouraging his teammates, yelling at his teammates in a good way to keep putting in effort and keep going. And that’s the kind of guy he is on and off the field.”

His improvements as a player and leader are a testament to his work ethic and desire to succeed.

“When he gets good coaching, he takes the advice and he uses it, he applies it,” Handel said. “And he’s got a drive, he wants to be good. He’s not just out there running around, he just doesn’t want to be a king of the high school, he wants to be a great football player and that really helps him out.”

Going forward

Foerster has one more season of high school football remaining. Due to MIAA rules, coaches are limited to one football-related meeting with players between the end of the season and the beginning of practice in mid-August.

This does not mean that the work stops. Foerster, who will play sports in the winter and spring, plans on increasing his time in the weight room.

“Yea, I’m doing indoor track during the winter and then I’m going to do lacrosse in the spring, but I’m going to be still lifting every single day,” Foerster said. “That’s kind of the plan, try to build up my speed and my strength a lot.”

The Hurricanes (4-6) host Minnechaug (3-7) at 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving and will look build momentum heading into next season.

“This year makes (the future) look brighter,” Foerster said. “The year before this — this is a total improvement. We don’t have all the talent as last year, but our main core of people are coming to practices and paying attention. So as long as we have people that know the position and how to play it, we’re going to learn how to succeed.”

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