Connor Frazier continues family tradition as Damascus quarterback

By Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 18, 2010; 12:21 AM

When he was starting the third grade, Gregg Frazier heard each of his friends tell him they were joining the Damascus Cougars youth football team. Frazier, then 8 years old, didn't have an overwhelming interest in football, but he didn't want to be left out. So he asked his parents to sign him up.

"That's just what you do when you're in Damascus, you play football," Frazier said. "My parents weren't crazy into football or anything like that.

"I didn't know it would turn into this."

Nearly 20 years later, the Frazier family has put three boys through Damascus High School in northern Montgomery County - Gregg (Class of 2003), Kyle (2008) and Connor (2011) - and provided the Hornets, one of the region's top football programs, with their starting quarterback for the past six seasons. Damascus has advanced to a state-record 13 consecutive postseasons, winning three state championships in that stretch, and has a strong chance to add another this season.

In his third season as Damascus's starting quarterback, Connor Frazier has led the second-ranked Hornets to an 11-0 mark heading into the 3A West region final against No. 15 Quince Orchard on Friday. Damascus posted its first undefeated regular season since 2005, when Kyle Frazier, then a sophomore, led the Hornets to the 4A championship. He would quarterback them to the 3A championship in 2007, when Connor was a freshman reserve.

Standing beside them throughout their varsity careers has been Gregg, 25, who is in his sixth season as a Hornets assistant coach.

"Football is definitely something that's a big part of this family," said Kyle, who's now starting at quarterback at Monmouth University as a junior. "Football was something we all fell in love with."

'Football all the time'

Their parents, Paul and Judy, met at Magruder High School; Paul graduated in 1977, a year before Judy. With a slender 6-foot-5 frame, Paul wasn't cut out for football; basketball, instead, was his sport.

Both Paul and Judy, though, enjoyed watching football, which made it easy when all three boys gravitated to the gridiron.

"That's what happens at my house," Judy said. "It's Connor on Friday nights. It's Kyle on Saturdays. It's football all the time."

By the time Connor was 3, Judy recalled, "he wanted me to get him a football outfit because he saw his older brothers doing it."

Said Connor, "Everything I remember, I've always had a football in my hands."

All three boys played quarterback while growing up, but only Kyle and Connor finished their high school careers under center. Gregg moved to wide receiver and defensive back when he was a junior at Damascus in 2001; "I wasn't nearly as good as Connor or Kyle," he said.

In his three years as the Hornets' starter (2005-07), Kyle threw 43 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in leading Damascus to a 35-4 mark. This fall, Connor has completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,756 yards and 19 touchdowns, and he has thrown only one interception in 192 attempts. Several Montgomery County coaches have said no player has been more valuable to his team this season than Connor Frazier, who has yet to commit to a college.

"They're smart kids. That's what makes them so good," said Hammond Coach Dan Makosy, who coached all three Frazier boys during his 10 years as Damascus coach (1998-2007). During Kyle's sophomore season, Makosy began allowing him to call some of his own plays in the huddle and make audibles at the line of scrimmage.

Brotherly coaching

Gregg's spot on the Damascus coaching staff - he is in charge of wide receivers and defensive backs and also helps Coach Eric Wallich direct the offense - creates an interesting dynamic for the brothers.

"He's probably harder on me than anyone else on the team," Connor said.

Consider what happened earlier this season when the Hornets gathered to watch the video of a 22-16 win over Seneca Valley, a game in which Connor scored the winning touchdown on a 10-yard run with four minutes left.

A play came on the screen in which Connor rolled to his right and threw dangerously across his body. Even though the pass fell incomplete, Gregg knew it was a poor decision. He paused the video.

"What are you doing here?" Gregg yelled across the room to his youngest brother. "You look like you're a freshman here making a rookie mistake."

More than two hundred miles away, Kyle Frazier recalled similar lessons.

"He's not going to beat around the bush," he said. "He'll make sure we know exactly what's on his mind."

Said Gregg, "Being a coach with both Kyle and Connor, you're going to have a different relationship than you would with your dad. It brings us a lot closer."

That's what made the 2007 season so special for the family. It was the one time all three Fraziers were part of the same team: Gregg was in his third season as an assistant, Kyle was the starting quarterback and Connor was a freshman reserve on the varsity. The Hornets went 13-1 and won the 3A championship.

Kyle hasn't been able to make it to one of Connor's games this season because of his schedule with Monmouth, which ends its season on Saturday. But if Damascus can make it back to the state title game - which will be played on Dec. 2 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore - Kyle will definitely be there, and the family hopes to re-create the sideline scene of 2007.

"That season was real special," Paul Frazier said. "I'd like to see it all over again this year."

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