Frederick Holscher’s high school career mirrors father’s

Published 9:08 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Frederick Holscher is a playmaker. It doesn’t matter if he’s quarterbacking the football team, playing shortstop for baseball, pitching or up to bat — the Washington senior is a difference maker when he competes.

It’s in Holscher’s DNA. His father, Franz Holscher, was enamored with athletics growing up. He played football, basketball and baseball throughout his Pam Pack days.

The parallels between father and son are numerous. Frederick grew up with a love for baseball. So did his father. Both say the sport is their favorite. Frederick is a two-year Pam Pack quarterback. So was his father. Franz — as a junior being coached by Bing Mitchell — even ran a triple-option system similar to the one Washington has implemented this year. Both even had new football coaches their senior years.

In fact, Frederick is a fourth-generation quarterback. His great-grandfather played two years of quarterback at East Carolina.

Even with all the similarities, Franz never really thought much about all the ways his son’s athletic career mirrored his own. It’s always been more about Frederick and simply supporting his interests.

“I really hadn’t thought a whole lot about it, as far as the connection between me and him,” Franz said. “I’ve always just wanted to support him in whatever he did in any sport. … It’s always been a lot more about him than about me or following my footsteps.

“I’m really proud of everything he’s done, not just sports. … I’m just really proud of him and how he’s grown up and is a young man.”

That unwavering support has helped nurture Frederick’s God-given athletic abilities. Franz stood in his son’s corner not only as a parent, but oftentimes as a coach, too.

“He just helped me a lot with practicing. He liked to coach my teams,” Frederick said. “He coached me a lot, but he never pushed me to play. It was always my decision to play. I enjoyed it a lot. He was always there to help me get better and motivate me.”

Exhilarating wins and heartbreaking losses for the father-son, coach-player duo has created lifelong memories for the both of them. Franz remembers one birthday in which Frederick belted a grand slam during a 12U baseball tournament.

“After he hit the grand slam, he came and gave me a big hug,” he said. “Then I cried. That was one of my best memories. Later in that tournament, he came in to close a game against a team from California. … They beat the California team to get to the top 16 out of 120 teams.”

There are many others. Franz helped start a travel team, the River Rats, that has played a part in training the Pam Pack’s varsity lineup these past two years.

“It was a big commitment for him. I didn’t really realize it at the time,” Frederick said. “Now I look back and see how much he gave up for us and me to be able to play and do what I love to do.”

Having similar experiences has helped Franz mentor Frederick. On the football field, Franz was able to offer his son advice when he was thrown into the starting quarterback role just days before the season opener in 2016.

“I was the quarterback for junior varsity the year before. He told me it was going to be a lot faster,” Frederick remembered. “He was right.”

Franz added: “It was a surprise. As a parent, you love your children and you want them to be successful. When they’re put in a situation when they’re not prepared for success, you have a lot of trepidation about how they’re going to handle it. I was really proud of Frederick last year for jumping in there and doing the best he could.”

Frederick is on the backend of his high-school career. The football games ahead are few. With springtime will come his senior baseball season.

The memories, lessons and time spent between father and son will last a lifetime, though. It’s about more than sports for Franz and Frederick Holscher. It always has been.

The two have had the chance to develop a bond over the years, and that bond won’t go anywhere when Frederick’s Pam Pack days are over.