Cavalier Corner

December 2014

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Page 48 of 62

BY GREG WATERS OOTBALL AND LIFE HAVE NOT been an easy road lately for redshirt third-year placekicker Ian Frye. After redshirting in 2011, Frye lost out the placekicking battle to fourth- year Drew Jarrett in 2012, but the strong-legged kicker did handle the kickoff duties for the Cava- liers. On a personal level, Frye's family suffered a setback last fall when his dad suffered his first heart attack while playing volleyball the day be- fore training camp began. His father survived after doctors placed two stents in his heart. During that camp, Frye again battled for the place- kicking role, this time win- ning the job. Again, heart- break struck when, four games into the season, the Bristol, Va., native injured his right hip flexor in the Pitt game, ultimately produc- ing enough pain that Frye struggled to even walk. He would not kick again in 2013. After his dad's heart attack and the injury-rid- dled 2013 season, the last nine months have been very different for Frye. In March, he became en- gaged to his girlfriend, Chelsea Capets. That was followed by an impressive spring camp where Frye was given a scholarship by head coach Mike London. Frye has proven worth the investment this sea- son, connecting on 17 of 20 field goal attempts — missing only from 46, 50 and 53 yards — in UVa's first nine games of the 2014 campaign. The placekicker attributes his success in large part to a change in his perspective on football and life. "This year has been a lot different. I've changed my mentality about kicking, I've changed my men- tality about life and I feel like it's really paid off," Frye said. "After my father's first heart attack, that was definitely an eye-opener. "Getting engaged, I realized life wasn't always guaranteed the next day and you had to make the fullest of it," Frye continued. "Doing things as simple as going to bed earlier so you're well rested, showing up to class and putting in more effort in all facets of life. Trying to be the best you can and being proud of what you do." That approach would be put to the test when the Cavaliers traveled to Provo, Utah, to face BYU Sept. 20. After booting a field goal to put his team up 16- 13 while the first half was ending, Frye realized his mother was running down the stadium steps to the field level as her son headed to the locker room. She alerted him that his father was hav- ing chest pains. The younger Frye located his father in the tunnel leading to the locker room, surrounded by paramedics and being prepped for transport to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Preparing to leave his teammates and go with his dad, Frye said both his parents encouraged him to stay with his football family. "One of the very first things both my parents both told me was 'Get back in that locker room and finish the game.'" Frye recalled. "I had that job and I had to complete it. So hearing that right away it kind of shut down the thought of not being with my team. "It was in the back of my head, but immediately hearing that and my parents supporting what I was doing was amazing. It was difficult, but I feel it worked out in the end." Frye said two years ago he would have looked at F "This year has been a lot different. I've changed my mentality about kicking, I've changed my mentality about life and I feel like it's really paid off." FRYE

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