WARRENSBURG - With just seconds left in overtime during a game Dec. 18 against Hartford, Warrensburg senior and basketball player Brendan Frye charged up the court and sank a fadeaway jumpshot to seal a Warrensburg victory.
For years, Warrensburg High School sports fans have enjoyed the gutsy determined play of Frye, who has led various come-from-behind campaigns - often eluding opponents, whether its dodging their defense for the entire football field in a kick return, stealing several bases in baseball, or weaving through players on the hardwood.
Frye not only has the determination to win, but he's willing to work in practice to make it happen, Burgher Basketball Coach Rich Schloss said.
"Brendan's the hardest worker at every practice," Schloss said. "He's our team leader, he's very coachable, and he really, really understands the game of basketball."
Frye's worked hard at sports since he was a child, so his moves - so elusive on the floor, field or diamond - are now almost a matter of instinct. It's like he's on autopilot, driven by his subliminal synapses.
"No one can stop him from dribbling past them - he's probably the quickest guy in the league," Schloss said.
Also, he's just as focused on defense, recording a formidable number of steals and blocks.
Although Frye's been a standout for years and played Varsity since his Sophomore year, he has reached a new level this season, Schloss said.
"Brendan's the 'go-to' guy, he's hungry for the ball - he likes to have the ball in his hands when the pressure is on," Schloss said.
When a sports game will be determined by one throw, a final run downfield, or a last-chance pass, Frye doesn't cave under the stress.
Asked what was going through his mind as the Burghers were trailing in overtime against Hartford and the clock was running down, Frye offered a few words last week.
"I just knew we had to play our hearts out and go for a win," he said. "When it got down to the last shot, I wanted to be the one to take it - I really don't feel the pressure much at all."
Perhaps this is true because of the depth of his experience. With his father Bobby Frye serving for many years as an athletic trainer at Warrensburg High School, Brendan used to attend most all Varsity sports practice sessions. After the Varsity players were done with their work, Brendan would step out on the hardwoods or football field and imitate what he'd seen.
By fifth grade, he was a productive member of a travel basketball team. Two years later, he was a standout on the Modified basketball team which lost only two games during his tenure. The group had chemistry as well as talent.
As an eighth grader, Brendan was moved up into Junior Varsity basketball. Then in 9th grade, he was drafted for Varsity, but he decided to step back to Junior Varsity for more playing time - and to be able to play ball with his friends.
By his Sophomore year, Brendan was a starting guard on Varsity, and he teamed up with 1,000-point scorer Alex Quigan for a formidable inside-outside game.
Last year's high point, Frye said, was beating Berlin in the Sectional playoffs, and advancing to the Glens Falls Civic Center for tournament quarterfinals.
Football this year also had its high points for Brendan, whether it was a 103-yard fumble return for a touchdown, or two 90-plus-yard kickoff returns.
Frye was not only quarterback, leading his team in yardage both on the ground and in the air, but he was a defensive stalwart and the special teams star - for which he won the school's Iron Man award.
Some say he knew every position on the field, and was called upon to help others learn their role - like he has in basketball.
In baseball, Frye's both first baseman and pitcher, known for his accurate throws, diving catches and play execution that shows how focused he is on playing his best.
And that game-saving shot last week at Hartford? It was a repeat of a shot he practiced routinely many years ago against another water boy after practices and games.
This season produced yet another career highlight, Frye said. It was his 33-point game against Bolton High, when he just kept pouring in the points to overcome the red-hot outside shooting of the Eagles.
"It's a mentality of mine," Frye said. "I don't want to lose, so I do what ever I can to accomplish what needs to be done."