Frazier's Manack adapts quickly to quarterback position
TribLIVE Sports Videos
At one time, Charlie Manack's football journey was typical.
A self-described “pudgy” kid, he began as a pee-wee lineman and eventually moved to tight end. And after making all-conference at the position as a Frazier sophomore, he figured to likely stay there.
Well, until equipment day that year.
“The day we turned in our stuff (coach Mike Steeber) asked me, ‘What do you think about playing quarterback?,' ” Manack said. “I had to think about it. Tight end was where I always thought I'd play.”
Since making the move under center, the Commodores couldn't be happier with the results.
Manack threw for 1,794 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, his first as a full-time quarterback.
Steeber said things clicked quickly for Manack, and he noticed a difference in the junior one quarter into his first start. He went on to have four 200-yard passing games, a pair of four-touchdown games and led Frazier to a WPIAL Class A playoff appearance before losing to WPIAL and state champion Clairton.
“Charlie's a smart kid,” Steeber said. “There are certain times he'll point certain things to us, and we'll adapt to what he sees. It's his biggest strength.”
Those smarts sped up the transition to a new position, one Manack admits wasn't easy at first.
“It's really difficult to go from blocking to throwing all the time,” he said.
Aside from trying to grasp the Frazier playbook and responsibilities that go with being a quarterback, he needed to get the basics down.
Especially when it came to footwork.
“I remember when I first started at a seven-on-seven camp I wouldn't take the three-step drop; I'd just wait and throw it,” Manack said. “ I knew I was supposed to, my body just wasn't used to it. Every time the ball was in my hands, I was just ready to throw.”
Now, through drills that continue daily, Manack is able move around the pocket comfortably and confidently. Even dropping back has become natural, he says.
What is happening isn't a total surprise.
Manack had a growth spurt right before high school, setting up the possibility of him someday being Frazier's quarterback. He also ran the varsity scout team as a freshman before playing exclusively tight end the next season.
“I think he had a comfort level there. That certainly made his transition easier,” Steeber said.
Manack's cousin, former Commodores star Rock Vargo, played a role as well.
“He was more of a lead-by-example guy,” Manack said of Vargo, who earned all-conference honors as a senior in 2011. “You watched what he did.”
While Manack doesn't mind the comparisons between he and his cousin, he's looking to make his own mark on Frazier football.
And do whatever it takes.
“If I have to turn around and hand the ball off every play, I'm fine with that,” he said. “Whatever gets us to a (conference) championship.”
Nick Cammuso is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Decision on football fracas expected today
- Tickets aplenty for Ringgold-BVA game
- Southmoreland plays Burgettstown in big game
- Late touchdowns seal Southmoreland’s fate against Derry
- Southmoreland varsity gridders helping midget football teams
- Gators hope to shake off tough loss to Tigers
- Monessen, Wilkinsburg await WPIAL ruling
- Quaker Valley football coach emphasizes need to close out games
- Plum hopes to get back on track against Falcons
- Clairton prepares for rugged Jeannette by routing Riverview
- Bentworth’s Hughes named Player of Week