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Local colleges

  • Adversity unable to slow Cougars
      Saint Francis’ up-and-down nature, as well as a couple of three-game losing streaks, were taken care of last week in the form of a 42-20 home win over the other Saint Francis, the one from Illinois.
  • Cards face Zips’ stingy defense
    Challenges still lie ahead for senior running back Jahwan Edwards and the Ball State football team.
  • College football preview: Saint Francis at Robert Morris
    When: 2 p.m. Saturday Where: Arlington Heights, Ill. Records: Saint Francis (3-4, 1-1 MEL), Robert Morris (6-1, 2-1) Rankings: Robert Morris No. 12 Radio:
Spring game
When: 7:30 p.m. April 19
Where: Bishop D’Arcy Stadium
Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Cody Appenzeller moved to wingback at Saint Francis after playing running back at Homestead.

USF back emulating former starter

– Their last names are, of course, completely different, yet their first names are strikingly similar. But compare Saint Francis’ Cody Appenzeller with two-years-removed Koby Frye, and you’ve essentially got the same player in the same body frame. At least that’s Appenzeller’s goal.

With the first week of spring football practices underway at Saint Francis, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound junior who was an All-NHC running back at Homestead is listed as the No. 2 wingback.

It’s the same position the 5-8, 178-pound Frye vacated two years ago. And if he can be the impact player that Frye was, well, then Appenzeller will be pleased.

“I try to mimic exactly what he does,” Appenzeller said of Frye, a runner/receiver who scored six touchdowns in 2011. “We weigh the same. I try to play pretty much exactly like he did.

“We have a little bit different skill sets. He was able to block a little easier than me. I’m still learning how to block because I played running back in high school, and we didn’t have to do that. But I feel like when I get the ball in the open field, I’m able to do some more things. He’s pretty much who I’d like to mimic.”

Frye ran the ball 27 times and caught it 35 times for a combined 420 yards as a senior in 2011.

Appenzeller would like to duplicate those numbers. Last season, he ran the ball once for 3 yards. Plus, he was in some special teams packages.

As a senior at Homestead, he had three 100-yard games, including 218 against Huntington North. Against East Noble, he scored five touchdowns.

It’s taken him this long to move through the depth chart.

These days, he can’t wait for practices, can’t get enough work in the weight room. And the more playing time, the better.

“I think it’s more exciting to realize I have to get my body ready for somebody trying to take my head off,” Appenzeller said. “Last year, it was, ‘maybe I’ll get in a little bit and go to the weight room.’ This year, I feel like I’m excited to get to the weight room and put on more muscle and get stronger.”

Offensive coordinator Pat Donley sees the similarity between Appenzeller and Frye.

“That’s a pretty good model; it’s kind of the idea,” Donley said. “That’s what we’d like for him to be, is a player like that, and I think he can. When we recruited him, he did almost everything at Homestead High School. For what we do, we kind of see him as a slot player and utilize all his abilities as a ball carrier and receiver, and things like that.”

Appenzeller figured he also had a chance to play baseball somewhere but decided against it. He called baseball practices boring. “Football practices were exciting all the time,” he said.

So here he is, at the exciting time of 8 a.m. at the cold and windy Bishop D’Arcy Stadium, running slants across the middle, just the way Frye did.