TAMPA – Most big-time football players like to take a breather once in awhile. A long run, a big tackle? No reason not to take a play off.
But Max Frankel isn’t like that. There are a lot of high school football players, especially at smaller schools, who play both offense and defense, but Frankel is intense about it. If you ask the multitasking Carrollwood Day School player why, he’ll tell you.
“I like hitting people,” Frankel said after the Patriots beat Shorecrest Prep, 49-22, on Sept. 12 in a driving rainstorm.
Frankel plays running back and linebacker for the Patriots, so he is involved on every play. That doesn’t make him unique among high school football players, but on this team, he is a key piece. He ran, tackled, led and lifted the Patriots in the Shorecrest Prep game. The Patriots were off to an 0-2 start to the season and still smarting from a huge thumping in their home opener.
Frankel said the win over Shorecrest Prep was going to turn the season around, if he has anything to say about it.
“I am going to do anything I can to help turn this thing around,” said Frankel, a 6-foot, 215-pound junior. “We are going to the playoffs and we are going to work everything out.”
Frankel is a leader, even as a junior, on a team that is used to success. His coach, Lane McLaughlin, pointed to Frankel’s leadership ability as one of the keys to Carrollwood Day’s success. Quarterback Taylor King, a transfer from Freedom High School, and tight end/linebacker Dominic Cuono are the team captains and the keys to the team leadership, but Frankel has stepped up as a leader, McLaughlin said.
“He’s very important to this team,” McLaughlin said. “He does everything we ask him to do.”
The Patriots have only five seniors, so junior leadership comes in handy.
“I’ll play anywhere for this team,” Frankel said. “It just depends on where they need me.”
Frankel has another issue going on at home: He likes the University of Michigan, but his father went to Ohio State. That’s not the best pairing on Thanksgiving weekend when Michigan and Ohio State play in one of the most fierce rivalries in college football.
“It get nuts on Thanksgiving weekend,” Frankel said. “My dad told me I could never be a Michigan fan, but all I want to do is play in the Big House one day.”
The Big House is the home to Michigan football, the biggest college football stadium in the country.
Frankel said he is ready to do whatever it takes to get there.
“I want to be in on every play, do anything and go through 40 minutes of brutal football,” he said. “Somebody is going to want me to play for them and I want to be ready.’’