Vermilion Catholic quarterback Hunter Frith not prototypical quarterback story _lowres

Advocate file photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Vermilion Catholic's quarterback Hunter Frith earned first-team honors on the Class 1A all-state team.

ABBEVILLE — Vermilion Catholic senior quarterback Hunter Frith might not have had the most conventional path to becoming a starting quarterback, but one wouldn’t guess that by watching him play.

When he was just 7 years old, doctors diagnosed Frith with type 1 diabetes, but the disease has done little to slow him down athletically.

“I got down at times when I was younger because I couldn’t do all the things my friends were doing,” Frith said. “But I’ve got a pump (that regulates my blood sugar) now. I take it off for games, so it doesn’t bother me. … I just monitor it throughout the game and make sure it doesn’t get too high.

About 10 years later, the linebacker-turned-quarterback has thrown for 10 touchdowns in the Eagles’ first three games, and just last week posted a career-best performance for 388 yards passing and five touchdowns, plus one running score in a 62-49 victory against Erath.

What’s more, Frith had no intention of playing quarterback. He says, “It just kind of happened.”

After spending his first two seasons with the Eagles playing linebacker, Vermillion Catholic coach Russell Kuhns approached Frith about trying out to be the next quarterback.

Kuhns said he decided to target Frith because he seemed to have a natural feel for the game and an advanced ability to read offenses.

“He picked up so well on defense because he’s football smart,” Kuhns said. “He was really good at understanding everything defensively, so his football savvy was really good. … We tried him out to see if he could to it and he threw the ball accurate and well.”

Frith also pitches for the Eagles baseball team, giving his coaches even more confidence that he could throw the ball well.

The instinct paid off, Kuhns said, as Frith’s football intelligence has taken him a long way quickly.

“He’s just evolving every week,” Kuhns said. “He’s only been playing the position for a little over a year, and he’s doing well. Hopefully by Week 8 or 9 he’ll be even better.”

Even with the success he has garnered this season, Frith remains humble. Rather than rest on his laurels, he quickly deflects any compliments and thanks his teammates for allowing him to shine.

“I wasn’t expecting to throw for this many yards or touchdowns in the first three games,” Frith said. I like to thank my receivers. I would be nothing without them. We have four guys that have over 200 yards this season. So it’s not all on me, it’s on them too.”

Frith and the Eagles (2-1) will look to maintain the level of success they reached last week when they take on Highland Baptist (3-0) in their first district game Thursday night.