Two-sport star leaving legacy at Houma Christian
Tue. January 22, 2013 at 2:13 p.m. | By Chris Singleton/Staff Writer
Houma Christian's Nate Frye has served as a leader on the Warriors' basketball and football teams during his prep career. (Photo by File photos)
When people talk about Houma Christian athletics, the first name that usually comes up is Nate Frye.
Frye, the son of Houma Christian boys basketball coach Freddie Frye, is a senior two-sport athlete who has earned high accolades for his accomplishments in basketball and football at Houma Christian.
In basketball, he has led the Warriors to four straight Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoff berths and a district title. He is averaging 16.3 points per game with 11.4 rebounds per game as a senior. His basketball career started as a seventh-grader at Houma Christian, where he was just a small kid playing with big varsity boys.
In football, he led the Warriors to a 6-4 record this season and a trip to the playoffs for the first time in school history. He played quarterback, receiver and running back, racking up 1,896 all-purpose yards and 28 total touchdowns.
Nate, who has earned All-State recognition in both sports, has caught the eyes of college coaches recruiting him to play either basketball or football. But those who know the 18-year-old senior star best say his leadership qualities and work ethic stand out before any of his athletic achievements.
"I always tell him that he has a calling in his life. Do something great," Coach Frye said. "Nate is not perfect. No kid is perfect. He has had a lot of challenges in his life, but I think the thing that stands out is his faith and commitment to God. Knowing that a lot of kids here look up to him, he doesn't take that lightly. Everything he does or says is put under a microscope. He's very careful to what he does and says. He's all about putting Houma Christian first and being a leader."
Nate said he takes pride in being a mentor and setting a positive example for the younger generation. He prefers using his talents to serve as an influence to others.
"My dad challenged the senior class to leave a legacy," Nate said. "Don't just be another team character that goes to Houma Christian without leaving a mark. I just want to give them something to remember me by and leave something for them to follow when I leave."
Nate said he inherited his leadership abilities from Coach Frye, a former college basketball player who serves as a coach and teacher at Houma Christian and an associate pastor at the Living Word Church.
"I just try to be a leader like my dad," Nate said. "I've just picked up and taken all the advice that he has given to me. I want to pass it on to the younger guys. I just want to show them what hard work can do. You're not going to excel in your craft if you don't work at it."
Houma Christian athletic director and head football coach Chuck Battaglia said Nate has already created a lasting legacy with his amazing leadership, talent and character.
"With all the things he has done, I think what is often overlooked is the character of the young man," Battaglia said. "You're always going to have athletes coming in and out of your program, but you're not going to often find true leaders and men of character like Nate. Nate has done that with his work habits, and he's a very humble individual who looks out for his teammates."
One of the young athletes looking up to Nate is his younger brother and teammate Manny Frye, who is an eighth-grader at Houma Christian. Manny said the two Frye brothers have a great relationship and spend a lot of time with each other.
"He always helps me out a lot," Manny said. "Whenever I have trouble with something, I go to him and he shows me what to do. He's my role model. He teaches me a lot about having patience and being a leader. He really inspires other people to do better."
Unlike most teenagers who are easily distracted, Coach Frye said Nate spends most of his time reading Bible scriptures, doing school work or making strides in the weight room. The coach often wakes up late at night due to the sounds of Nate working out in the family's garage.
"Nate is disciplined in a lot of areas," Coach Frye said. "There is stuff in life that he really works hard at without having been told he needs to work at it. That work ethic is going to carry him a long way. His mom (Nadine Frye) and I are very proud of what he's been able to accomplish and do."
Nate said he credits his faith and work ethic for overcoming a shoulder injury earlier this season and other obstacles in his life.
"Everything in life is about working hard, trying to get better and keeping God first," Frye said. "I think that has contributed to some of the success that I've had here. I've put all the work in, and I know it's going to pay off sooner or later."
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Nate has received football interest from Nicholls State University, Louisiana College and Mississippi College and had tape requested on him by Louisiana-Lafayette.
In basketball, Frye said his son has garnered interest from Georgia State, Oklahoma State, Murray State and Nicholls, and Nate has shown some interest in Oral Roberts University. Battaglia said Nate is weighing his options, and Louisiana College may allow Nate Frye to play both sports if he chooses to go there.
Nate said he is academically qualified to play in college, where he is expected to play either shooting or point guard.
Although he favors basketball over football, Nate said he hasn't made any final decisions yet on his college. Coach Frye added that he and his wife will support whatever college choice their son makes "once they visit the school."
"We really don't know where I'm going to play college ball yet, but I know God has something special in store for me," Nate said. "I just have to keep faith in Him."
Coach Frye said Nate is still improving in certain areas of his game but thinks his son is headed on the right path for college.
"His statistics are down this year because he's playing with a much younger group," Coach Frye said. "He draws a lot of double and triple teams, and we had a tough schedule with a lot of Class 4A and 5A schools. But I think anyone who knows the game of basketball can see he's a special athlete by the things he does on the floor."
As one of the only seniors on the basketball team, Frye said the Warriors (10-8 overall, 2-1 in District 10-1A) are young, but he sees the potential to do something special this year and set the tone for the future.
"I feel like we can make a run," Nate said. "We're a young team, but we don't really have a bad team. It's just the inexperience I think would hurt us, but we have a lot of youth that could help us. We're going to try our best to put it all together to make a run to a district tile and through the playoffs."