February Signing Day: Frostburg Bobcats pounce on four Linganore football players

The Frostburg boys pose after the signing day event.

captured by Scott Willett

The Frostburg boys pose after the signing day event.

by Matthew Gelhard and Ethan Hart

As many of the seniors from the Class 3A state champion football team prepare to leave the school, they will leave behind memories of a magical season Lancers will never forget.

Luckily, four of our best seniors will be less than two hours away.

Josh Taylor, Luke Freeman, Zach Willett, and Cody Redden have committed to play football at Frostburg State University. They were all key components in the Lancer’s state championship season, leading the team to a 13-2 record.

Luke Freeman

Luke Freeman was one of the most dominant linebackers in Frederick County and constantly terrorized opposing offenses. He was selected as one of four linebackers to the Central Maryland Conference All-County 1st team (CMC).

He had 101 tackles, the highest total for the entire football team. He also collected three sacks and added nine tackles for loss. To add to his impressive resumé, he also caught an interception and recovered two fumbles.

Deciding where to bring his talents to was tough. According to his parents, Tom and Julie Freeman, he had offers from Randolph-Macon College, Wheeling Jesuit University, and Shippensburg University. After many college visits, they let Luke make the final decision.

Luke said, “I’m a little nervous to play at the college level because there is a shift in speed and strength, but I’ll will learn to adapt.”

Zach Willett

Zach Willett, who made the transition from quarterback to cornerback this season, flourished in his role and blossomed into a top defensive back in the county.

Coach Rick Conner said, “He has the rare ability to play many different positions.”

Willett totaled a team-high six interceptions and four batted passes. He also had 61 tackles, good for sixth-most on the team. To top that, he was also a Central Maryland Conference All-County Honorable Mention.

Having a chance to go to Frostburg was something he had been anticipating, and his parents approve.

“Frostburg is where me and my wife met,” said Scott Willett, a Frostburg alumni who was also the running back coach for the Lancers. “It’s somewhere he’s been wanting to go his whole life, and now he gets to play football there.”

Willett, who also plays basketball and baseball, has had success in all of his sports, especially football. 

He said, “A lot of the credit goes to my coaches, especially Coach Conner, who has helped me so much throughout the years. I also credit my parents, who have never stopped pushing me.”

Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor played pivotal roles on offense and defense to create the high caliber team. As a defensive lineman, he had 36 tackles and 4 sacks. With his efforts he was an CMC Honorable Mention.

Head football coach Rick Conner said, “He is one of the most athletic lineman to ever come through Linganore.”

Josh spent an exceptional amount of time in the weight room to create the strength and agility he possesses on the football field. Since he started high school, he has been in the weight room two to three times a day.

“Frostburg reminds me of my hometown, with its community and the way it is spaced out,” said Josh.

While he is playing football at school he wants to study in business, eventually earning a degree to either choose the path of a real estate broker or a sports agent.

“I’m proud of him with how much work he put in to reach his goals,” said his father Tim Taylor,

He emphasized the support that his family has given him on his journey. He explained how they never fail to be in the stands cheering him on at every game with props like signs and even large fathead of Josh himself that said “Go Smoshua” on the back.

“They pushed me to keep working hard on and off the field, and without a doubt there was no bigger supporter than my family,” Josh said with pride.

Cody Redden

Cody Redden is an offensive lineman.  Cody was named to the CMC 2nd Team as an offensive lineman.

Rick Conner said, “He is a hard worker, and in crucial situations we are comfortable running plays with him leading the way,” Conner said.

When the seasons started, you could tell right out of the gate that Reddin had spent his off season perfecting his craft with strength and conditioning.

With a frame of over six feet tall, Cody loves to compete against bigger and stronger competition. 

He plans to study law enforcement and pursue his dream job as a game warden.

“I wanted to continue my football career in college because I’ve been doing this since I’ve been able to walk. I’m going to play football until I can’t play anymore,” Cody said.

Josh Taylor and Cody Redden were played on the offensive line and allowed the offensive play makers do their job. Davon Butler was  able to run for over 1500 yards while the team as a whole ran for over 3000.