Jesus Frank

Jesus Frank of Wapato High School on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (Amanda Ray, Yakima Herald-Republic) Jesus Frank of Wapato High School on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. (Amanda Ray, Yakima Herald-Republic)

Wapato's Jesse Frank is always on the move.

The senior all-league running back gets quickly to where he is going.

"He runs everywhere," said Wolves coach Skip Gurtler, who coaches Frank in football and baseball. "He runs from his car to the locker room, from the locker room to the practice field - the only time he walks is in between classes in the hall, when he's supposed to be walking."

His seemingly constant movement adds an extra workout to his school day. Before football and baseball practice, Frank makes the quarter-mile jaunt to neighboring Adams Elementary to pick up his 8-year-old sister Ahriana, who's entering the third grade this year.

She watches his practices, and is at all of his games - rooting for her favorite player.

Last season, she had plenty to cheer for in the fall. Despite the Wolves' struggles in the win column, her big brother starred.

Frank finished the season with more than 800 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark four times, including a season-high 172 yards in a season-opening victory against Cle Elum, and 147 and three touchdowns against Grandview.

He's putting those numbers up when his 20 or more carries - including 40 against the Greyhounds - make him the target of opposing defenses.

"I'm fine with that and it pushed me," he said. "I like to run the ball a lot, so I'm happy about it."

Gurtler said he wants to rein in Frank's exuberance, which can lead to an occasional fumble or an overrun fly ball when Frank plays outfielder in the spring.

"He's so tenacious, you're going to have to hit him really, really hard on the first hit to knock him down," Gurtler said. "He just keeps going. We've told him, 'When you know you're done, just go down.'"

Frank could see the lion's share of the offense again this season, as Gurtler said the Wolves are still a bit unsettled at quarterback.

The reps could help him close in on his season goals, which he'll get a jump on Friday when Wapato hosts Wahluke.

"I'm hoping to just have a fun time with my friends, to do our best as a team and get some wins - and try to get at least 1,000 yards," he said.

Gurtler said Frank is being recruited by small schools to play football.

And while it's Frank the running back that has helped attract recruiters, Gurtler said it's Frank the person and student that's the real prize.

"He's a great teammate and a great young man in the hallway, you never see him in trouble," Gurtler said. "I would want all our young men to model themselves after him.

"He works hard at everything he does and he listens. He's on top of it."

Tags