FONDA — Tyler Schmidtmann is so integral to keeping his team organized on the field that the Fonda-Fultonville senior two-way lineman has earned a distinctive nickname.
“We call him ‘Coach Schmidt,’” Fonda-Fultonville head coach Sean Thompson said.
A three-year starter who anchors the Fonda-Fultonville (7-3 overall) offensive line at center while also moving across multiple spots in the Braves’ defensive front seven, Schmidtmann’s on-field communication is as vital to the team’s success as the 5-foot-9, 235-pound lineman’s ability to block and tackle.
Whether he’s calling the plays in Fonda-Fultonville’s defensive huddle or making on-the-fly adjustments to the team’s blocking scheme, Schmidtmann is constantly ensuring that he and his teammates are in the right position.
He’s done a pretty good job of it, too, considering that the Braves will face Schuylerville in the Section II Class C Super Bowl on Friday at 7 p.m. at Lansingburgh High School.
It’s the program’s first Section II championship game appearance in seven years, and a chance to bring Fonda-Fultonville its first area football title since 1999.
“I think we’re really prepared,” Schimdtmann said. “We’re set to go.”
Schmidtmann is an information sponge, Thompson said, and that’s something that shows up on every offensive snap.
As the Braves practiced Tuesday, Schmidtmann was constantly adjusting run blocking schemes and pass protections as the team’s scout defense threw a myriad of potential looks at him.
“I just do my best to absorb everything that the coaches give me,” Schmidtmann said. “I just want to help out my teammates. I want to help everybody behind us. The offensive line’s the biggest part of the game, I feel like, and everybody tells us that. I just want to do the best for us as a team.”
“He knows his stuff,” Thompson said. “He’s the leader of our offensive line. He gets guys in the right spot, gets them moving in the right direction.”
Schmidtmann is one of several key seniors on an offensive line that’s helped to fuel Fonda-Fultonville’s late-season surge to reach the Class B Super Bowl.
Six games into the season, Fonda-Fultonville was 3-3, having already lost close games to both Schuylerville and Hoosick Falls/Tamarac, plus a forfeit to Cobleskill-Richmondville brought on by a lack of available players due to COVID-19 quarantines. Needing to finish the regular season strong just to ensure a spot in the Class C tournament — the only eight-team postseason among Section II’s five classifications — Fonda-Fultonville has reeled off four straight victories by a combined score of 175-22.
As the guy lining up right next to him at left guard, fellow senior Derek Duval is well aware of Schmidtmann’s importance to the team’s success.
“He keeps us focused up front,” Duval said. “He’s one of those guys that you want to be a leader for you. He’ll get you in the right position to make the right blocks, get the right push for the running backs to hit the holes.”
That’s a sentiment about “Coach Schmidt” that Thompson is more than happy to echo.
“What he does is invaluable for us,” Thompson said. “Being a three-year starter at that position, that’s really important.”
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports