UNION (WBNG) — Coaches love versatility and the Maine-Endwell Spartans have a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ on their football team. His name is Rylie VanFleet, he is 12 Sports’ Athlete of the Week and a big reason why the Spartans are still undefeated after their top-25 showdown against the Owego Indians.
Offense, defense, punter, punt returner — Maine-Endwell senior Rylie VanFleet did a little bit of everything for Maine-Endwell in its victory against Owego.
“It’s really fun,” said Maine-Endwell senior receiver Rylie VanFleet. “I just love being on the field.”
“It’s pretty special,” said Maine-Endwell head coach Matt Gallagher. “We are obviously pretty lucky to have him.”
Despite playing numerous positions, VanFleet doesn’t seem to get tired on the field.
“You have to keep grinding, battling,” said VanFleet. “Our coaches prepare us to not be tired during the fourth quarter and we keep fighting to get that win.”
“It doesn’t surprise me that he goes out there throughout the whole game,” said Gallagher. “In the fourth quarter, it’s almost like he was as fresh as he was in the first quarter.”
On Saturday, VanFleet ran for a game-high 156 yards on 16 carries. He also scored twice and recorded an interception. On special teams, he took the game’s opening kickoff down to the five yard line and he also punted a ball down to the one yard line that the Spartans turned into a safety on the next play.
“I always just work at all the different aspects,” said VanFleet. “It’s not just offense or defense for me. I like punting. I never thought I would be that good a punter, but I would just do it and it’s a great time and I love it.”
“He is one of the hardest workers on the team,” said Gallagher. “He is a great leader, who leads by example. He is hardly a talker at all. He barely says two words. It’s not only on the football field, it’s out in the community, it’s in the class room and he is just an all-around great kid.”
VanFleet and the Spartans host Norwich Friday night at Maine-Endwell at 7 p.m. The Purple Tornado ended the Spartans season last year in the Class B Section IV semifinals.