Football is a numbers game. And numbers tell plenty.
Jared Rettig’s numbers as Lake’s quarterback speak volumes about him.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior has thrown for 6,704 career yards by completing 398 of his 641 attempts (62 percent). He has 80 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. During his junior campaign, he completed 138 of 212 passes for 2,347 yards and 31 TDs to only six interceptions.
The Flyers’ career passing leader is considered one of the area’s top playmakers heading into the 2014 season.
Lake finished the regular season at 8-2 overall and in third place in the Northern Buckeye Conference at 5-2, and Rettig had plenty to do with that success in coach Mark Emans’ first year with the Flyers.
“He’s the ultimate team player,” Emans said. “He doesn’t worry about throwing five touchdowns or no touchdowns just as long as we can win. He’s probably the most humble kid and that really amazes me.”
There are a number of reasons why Lake’s coach feels comfortable knowing Rettig is in command of the Flyers offense. He understands the offense and knows every bit of what everyone is assigned to do on every play selection.
Rettig has built himself up to handle what is physically required for the position. He’s gifted enough to play other positions, such as wide receiver if necessary. He is fundamentally sound, throwing a tight spiral.
More significantly, Rettig is comfortable as the leader.
“I love to throw the ball and I love being in charge,” Rettig said. “I’ve grown up with all these guys and they’ve always looked up to me as a leader and the quarterback position is a leader position and I’ve always filled that.”
It’s not like Rettig isn’t vocal, but he’s the type of signal-caller that has allowed his play on the field and certainly his passing numbers speak more about him than his own words.
In a game during his sophomore year, he passed for 602 yards and seven touchdowns by completing 33 of 47 attempts in a 54-40 win over Elmwood. Last season in a 49-35 loss to Genoa, he threw for 312 yards and five TDs .
Emans came in last season and implemented a new offense that could be described as a little more conservative than the previous playbook Rettig relied on as a sophomore. More balance of run and pass during the 2013 season resulted in Rettig passing for significantly less yardage than a year earlier when he registered 2,838 yards after completing 176 of 278 yards with 32 TD passes.
However, the statistic that mattered the most for Rettig and his teammates was their improvement in the won-loss column. The Flyers had finished 4-6 overall and 3-5 in the NBC in 2012.
“He [Rettig] embraced it,” Emans said of the offensive change. “He didn’t push back a little bit. He didn’t care what his numbers were as long as we would win.”
Rettig has his sights focused on the right target for the Flyers to become a team success.
“Football is such a team game,” Rettig said. “It’s 11 guys working together as one. It teaches a lot of life lessons as well and I love it.”
Fewer passing yards didn’t deter University of Findlay from seeking out his services in the near future. He committed to the college earlier this summer after also receiving interest from Ohio University and Youngstown State. A visit to the campus and talks with the coaching staff helped convince him that playing at Findlay would be the right fit.
“Basically, the quarterback is the main dude in their offense,” Rettig said. “He makes all the reads. It’s more option based. You throw the ball a lot. You run the ball a lot. So I love it.”
However, Rettig makes it clear he and his teammates have some unfinished work to do in his final season after earning a Division IV playoff game a year ago. Lake fell 36-25 to Caledonia River Valley.
“We’ve never gotten a home [playoff] game at Lake,” Rettig said. “So, getting a home game and winning would be a great goal for us this year. We’ve been working all summer for that.”
■ LAST SEASON: Completed 138 of 212 passes for 2,347 yards and 31 TDs.
■ BEST GAME: Completed 33 of 47 yards for 602 yards and seven touchdowns in 54-40 win over Elmwood in 2012.