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FLAGSTAFF EAGLES FOOTBALL

Eagles' QB competition heating up in summer preseason period

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Brock Maier FHS football

Flagstaff junior Brock Maier looks to throw during a 7-on-7 passing game against Lake Havasu Saturday at Northern Arizona University.

At the moment, the Flagstaff Eagles are undergoing a change at quarterback ahead of the 2022 season.

After the departure of recent graduate Bodie Maier -- the undisputed starter all last season -- the Eagles are trying to figure out who will lead the team under center moving forward. In June, there is plenty of time to play in 7-on-7 tournaments -- like Saturday’s competition hosted by the Northern Arizona football team -- and work in practice to find an answer.

“This is my 14th year, and we’ve always known who the starter is coming into the season. That’s based off previous years, seeing them and watching them grow. Now it’s a competition,” coach Sean Manning said.

The leader at the moment, taking the majority of snaps at NAU’s camp and the summer in general, is junior Brock Maier.

The younger brother of former starter Bodie, Manning hopes Brock will grow into a solid signal caller.

“We know what Brock’s capable of doing, but right now it’s just getting him comfortable with what we’re running,” Manning said.

Brock Maier has had some talks with his older brother about what being the starting quarterback at Flagstaff means.

A lot of their skills are similar, with quick legs and accurate passes. The goal, the younger of the two believes, is to use this summer experience to build chemistry with his team and practice leadership.

“It’s been real busy, I’d say making sure I know all the plays and that I know everything needed for the quarterback. That way if things go wrong, I know what happened and I can make changes,” Maier said. “I have to step up and play that role.”

Close behind him, though, is Chase Brown. The incoming freshman already has the body of a varsity player -- standing six-foot-two with apparent athleticism -- and throws a solid ball. It may be close to the beginning of the season before a final decision is made.

“Right now we’re going off of experience and age and maturity, so that’s Brock right now. But Chase is nipping at his heels,” Manning said.

The summer 7-on-7 activities provide a chance to understand route development and the whole passing attack on a deeper level without having to worry about a pass rush. Maier and Brown are building their rapport with those catching balls.

The Eagles are going to make changes at several positions, as many starting players graduated from last year’s roster. Flagstaff is veteran-heavy at receiver, though, with seniors Holden Sena and Jake Weidinger both likely to be captains come the fall, and junior Amare Menninger proving to be a skilled player. With a new quarterback starting, regardless of who ends up earning the spot, the receivers’ leadership could make the transition a bit easier.

“It’s really important, really nice to have them. It’s a relief knowing I can trust them and they’ll catch balls when I get it there,” Maier said.

Flagstaff will continue to compete and train throughout the summer, preparing for their opening game against Camelback on Sept. 3.

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