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The quarterback who won the job at New Trier didn’t even play football last season.
A concussion kept Frank Nicholas out of action last year, but the junior recently was selected as the team’s signal-caller over three other candidates.
“He’s really worked hard since December, and he’s really made an investment in this,” New Trier coach Dan Starkey said. “He’s got a lot of talent, too. He will do a great job.”
Starkey gave equal opportunities to all four of the quarterbacks throughout the summer and into the first two weeks of the preseason before naming Nicholas following Friday’s intrasquad scrimmage.
Nicholas, also a standout baseball player, beat out senior Mike Welch, senior Nick Hendricks and junior Matt McCaffery for the starting position to replace the graduated Jack Nykaza.
“All of the kids had some good qualities,” Starkey said. “But (Nicholas) has some assets that separated himself from the others, like his speed. He is the fastest of the four, and we like to have a quarterback who can run as well as throw.”
Welch and McCaffery still will help out the Trevians on the field. Welch will play linebacker, while McCaffery will get time at safety once he recovers from a knee injury. Starkey was awaiting the results of an MRI as of Monday afternoon.
Nicholas gets tested right away when the Trevians travel to play Schaumburg on Friday. The Saxons have been in the playoffs four of the last six seasons.
“We know they have a good program over there,” said Starkey, whose team lost to Schaumburg in last year’s opener. “It’s going to be a challenge. It’s always good to open up with a competitive team that will make you better down the road.”