By Brandon Walker EBS EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
BIG SKY – If you attended a Lone Peak High School football game this fall, chances are you heard the names of Frankie Starz and Austin Samuels. The senior captains were a potent combination all season long for head coach Adam Farr and the Big Horns. The duo was recently recognized for their efforts on the gridiron. “Frankie and Austin are both highly deserving of the All-Conference honors they received. Those guys easily had two of the most storied football careers in Lone Peak history, and while they won’t take another snap as a Big Horn, they have left an indelible mark on the program that will carry on into the future for years to come,” said Farr.
Defensively, lining up as an outside linebacker throughout the year, Samuels was unanimously selected first team All-Conference, as well as second team All-Conference on the other side of the ball as a wide receiver. Additionally, for the fourth consecutive year he garnered academic All-State honors. “Looking back at some of the great players that have played at this school, we haven’t been playing football for that long, but there’s been some great players here who have been selected All-Conference. I think it’s just really cool to be a part of that tier of players,” Samuels said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, and we had a great season.”
On the year, Samuels racked up 68 tackles, four interceptions and led the Big Horns in tackles on four occasions. Offensively, he compiled 710 yards leading the conference with 68 receptions to go along with 11 touchdowns. Samuels has left his mark on the Lone Peak football program leaving as the career leader in both receptions and interceptions.
Starz was chosen second team All-Conference on both sides of the ball, as well as being selected to the academic All-State team. “I’ve worked very hard, especially with Austin, and he obviously got All-Conference too. Over the season we worked a lot together on our chemistry and just threw the ball a lot so that definitely helped. It just means a lot after working so hard all four years,” Starz said.
Playing middle linebacker for Lone Peak, Starz racked up five interceptions, 10 sacks and a defensive touchdown. Starting at quarterback for his third season, he passed for 1,291 yards and 13 touchdowns. Starz also ran the ball for an additional seven touchdowns and 406 yards. His name will also be etched in the LPHS record books as he will graduate with the most passing touchdowns and total touchdowns in the Big Horns football program’s nine-year history.