Ryan Fontaine aims to build off big season

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Ryan Fontaine has been playing quarterback for six years, and he is only 11. That tells you how myuch he enjoys playing the position.
“I like everything about playing quarterback,” Fontaine said. “I really like getting to be the leader on the team. You get to pick everyone up if they get down.”
There have been few, if any, down moments for Fontaine on the football field.
Playing for the Vail Vikings last year in Tucson, Arizona, Fontaine helped his team go 10-0 during the regular season before losing in the city championship game.
“Last season was a lot of fun,” said Fontaine, who threw 10-15 touchdown passes and rushed for 4 more scores.
In addition, Fontaine did not throw an interception, he played middle linebacker and he also blocked a field-goal attempt in the title game. When the season ended, he continued playing for the Tucson Turf travel flag team and NYS flag team.

NFA influence

Fontaine also attended NFA camps for the second straight year. “NFA has really helped me with my throwing,” he said. “And the building men philosophy that they have and the leadership they teach, that is really important to me.”
This summer, Fontaine received his second straight invitation to the Duel in Massillon, Ohio. After failing to place the first time around, he finished third among incoming sixth graders this year in NFA’s showcase event.
“It was just an honor to get invited back to the Duel,” Fontaine said. “It didn’t really matter how well I did, it was just great to be there and it was a lot of fun.”
Considering he finished third against quarterbacks from all over the country, it was a very good trip. “I thought it was amazing,” Fontaine said. “It was a real thrill to be there and to be able to compete. It raised my confidence up a lot and I think it’s going to help me this year.”

Looking ahead

Fontaine is prepping for his upcoming season as the starting QB for the Vail Vikings 11U football organization playing in the Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Organization.
“Our team goal is to win the championship,” he said. “I want to improve my leadership and become the best leader can be. I want everybody on the team to be confident in me.”
As for his individual strengths, Fontaine knows the playbook inside and out and he keeps his cool when a play breaks down. “I always try to get out of the pocket and try to keep the play going and try to make something happen,” he said.
NFA coach Casey Donovan also lives in Tucson and he frequently works with Fontaine. “He’s helped me a lot,” Fontaine said. “He’s really helped me with my throwing and he’s helped me learn how to read coverages.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University

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