Spring Grove had a dream season in 2017. They went a perfect 14-0 en route to the 9-Man state championship. One of the key contributors to the team’s state title run was junior Alex Folz. Folz and the team had their eyes opened early and ever since it has been opponents and college programs that have not been able to look away from the talented junior.
The Lions’ run to a perfect season started where all championships start – in the offseason.
“It started in the summer,” Folz said. “We all got into the weight room and worked as hard as we could to get bigger and stronger and faster. Throughout the course of the year as a team, we were all together. No one was trying to be the star. We all wanted to win for each other.”
The chance for a perfect season was tested opening weekend.
“We faced Cleveland. That game was eye-opening for us,” Folz said. “We knew if we could beat them (they did, 52-51 in overtime) we could be anyone. That win really was a boost to our confidence.”
Folz said some of the keys to the season were the defensive line and how they were able to control the line of scrimmage to allow the linebackers and defensive backs – including Folz at safety – to flow freely and make plays. Offensively he said every unit – from the line to the skill position players – were all in sync and clicked the entire year.
With Folz at quarterback and the offense scoring fifty points or more in six of the Lions’ fourteen games, it was easy to see why Folz felt he had a solid season.
“I feel this was my best season by far,” the junior said. “I feel like next year I will be even better. I was able to distribute the ball to a lot of guys, but I also got to run the ball.”
Folz has been playing on varsity since 8th grade. His sophomore year he started at quarterback and linebacker. This season he stayed at quarterback but moved to safety on the defensive side of the ball. The move to safety let Folz use his athletic ability and instincts.
“The coaches told me to follow my instincts. If I thought the offense was going to one side, I was told to go to it. If I thought they were going to run, the coaches told me to go up and stop it. (The belief the coaches had) made me believe I could do everything I did and kept me going.”
Folz told northstarfootballnews.com his hitting ability combined with his speed allowed him to play side to side and support the run while still being able to cover wide receivers. As a quarterback, Folz feels his strength is his running ability but combining that with his arm strength is what NFN’s 94th ranked junior feels separated him.
This winter Folz has been the starting point guard on the basketball team and in the spring, he pitches and plays nearly every position on the baseball field.
Even while in the winter or spring seasons, Folz still gets in the weight room in the morning.
“I mainly work on my explosiveness with clean, snatch, bench and squat.”
Outside of getting bigger, faster and stronger, Folz also has been working on the mental side of playing quarterback.
“I have been working on getting better pre-snap,” the two-way player said, “finding ways to recognize coverages and timing routes better.”
Minnesota State Moorhead has asked Folz to come on a visit, and he has also been getting letters from other Division II schools.
While the Lions’ season-opening overtime victory over Cleveland opened Folz and his teammates’ eyes regarding what it was going to take to win a championship – Folz play has opened the eyes of college programs. Spring Grove will graduate many critical contributors to the state championship team from 2017. To get back to State, Folz will have to keep up his high level of play. If he does, neither his opponents nor college coaches should close their eyes to what Alex Folz can do.