When Troy Fisher decided to attend Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh and play quarterback, he realized it was going to be a daunting challenge.
“I knew I was going to a school where football is the real deal,” Fisher said. “Coming to Central Catholic, I made the decision that I was going to go all in and if I fail, I fail. But I decided to go at it 100 percent.”
Fisher has played football for nine years, and he spent some time at quarterback as he advanced through his eighth grade season. “I didn’t really have any formal teaching or anything,” he said. “My eighth grade year, I was more of a running back type of quarterback. It was more like taking a direct snap and I’d start running.”
A gifted athlete, Fisher was accustomed to getting the football and running wild in his younger days. But after deciding to attend Central Catholic asd a freshman, he knew he needed polish to play QB.
“In June of 2014 I went to my first NFA camp, and that was the start of my drive to be a quarterback,” Fisher said.
After initially training with NFA coach Ron Balog, Fisher attended the last two PSP camps in Pittsburgh and also worked with NFA Founder/President Darin Slack, Michael Slack and Mansur Ivie and headed for the Duel.
“I think my first camp, Coach (Darin) Slack sat down with everyone and I wouldn’t say it was a slap in the face, but reality set in,” Fisher said. “I came from a place where everyone wss saying, ‘He’s this, he’s that. He never did anything wrong.’ NFA has helped me tremendously. I came in probably a little pig headed, but they opened my eyes and now I’m a sponge. I’m open to everything now and I think NFA definitely opened that up. They really stressed the importance of communicating with people and making that a two-way street.”
NFA also helped Fisher develop his quarterback skills, and last year, as a freshman, he started settling in at QB.
This season, the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder won the starting varsity job at Central Catholic, which came in as the top-ranked team Class AAAA (largest division) team in the state of Pennsylvania. In his first game under center for the Vikings, Fisher played very well in a 28-12 win.
“I would say I’ve surprised myself,” Fisher said. “Working so hard, you think, ‘I can do this.’ But it became real that first varsity game. The week prior, they sat us down and said they were going to go with me at quarterback for the first game. I thought we were going to split time. That first week, I just got out there and it dawned on me that I was the guy. I had to gain the respect of all the seniors and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
Fisher has done all of that and more while helping Central Catholic get off to a 5-1 start. He has completed 47 of 82 passes for 609 yards and 9 touchdowns with no interceptions and rushed for 233 yards and 5 TDs.
“Everything is starting to click and come together,” Fisher said. “I believe in myself now but early on, I have to say I was surprised with how I played.”
Fisher is trying to follow in the footsteps of former Vikings quarterback J.J. Cosentino, who is at Florida State.
And don’t forget about Dan Marino, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. He also prepped at Central Catholic.
“You think of Dan Marino, a Hall of Famer, it’s kind of crazy to think I’m playing at the same school,” Fisher said. “You just kind of think, ‘Wow, it’s a cool thing.’”