FORT EDWARD — For the last two seasons, Colby Phillips took just about every snap at quarterback for the Fort Edward Flying Forts.
Now as a senior for the merged Corinth-Fort Edward football team, Phillips still gets his hands on the ball on every play — but he’s now the one making the snaps.
Phillips made the unselfish, and unusual, position switch from quarterback to center before the season.
“The offense changed, and it wasn’t a fit for me, so I just basically told them I had to do what was right for the team,” Phillips said after Saturday’s loss to Whitehall at Fort Edward. “I just told them wherever they needed me, I would play.”
With the merger, the newly minted Warhawks switched from Fort Edward’s multiple I-formation to the wing-T, which is more effective with a mobile quarterback operating out of the shotgun.
Phillips, who broke his ankle during basketball season, had bulked up to 230 pounds in the offseason.
“We figured out that Colby wasn’t going to be our starting quarterback this year,” said C-FE co-coach Jeff Tully, who had coached Phillips the last two seasons at Fort Edward.
“So we asked him if he wanted to find another position that he could try to fight to win, and that’s what he did. He went on to the offensive line and he earned a starting job by doing better than the rest of the kids.
“He’s still finding himself on the field, just in a different capacity,” Tully added.
“He’s definitely helped us a lot at center,” said new quarterback Brody Sullivan, a Fort Edward junior.
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“He’s taking it as he needs to get it done and he’s helping the team by doing that.”
For Phillips, it meant a major change. He had come up through the Flying Forts’ system as a quarterback and hadn’t played on the offensive line since he was in pee-wees.
“When I was younger, like fourth grade, I played line a little bit, but not after that,” Phillips said.
But he proved a quick study at snapping the football to new quarterback Brody Sullivan in C-FE’s shotgun formation.
“It wasn’t that hard to learn,” he said. “It’s kind of like throwing the ball, it’s not really that different. It’s easy.”
“He’s going to be fine,” Tully said. “It was a learning curve for him. He’s never played on the offensive line, but he’s done a really nice job the first two games, and if we can keep improving with him, we’re going to be great. We’ll keep working on those shotgun snaps, and he’s always been a really strong kid, so I think that helps him, as well.”
Sullivan himself is learning a new position — he switched to quarterback from running back this season.
“I was expecting to be returning at running back,” Sullivan said, “but (Corinth) had a good athlete, Gabe Allen, who’s helping us out a lot, too, so I just accepted that and switched to QB.”
The 1-1 Warhawks, who are playing an independent schedule against mostly Class D teams this season, gets another test on Friday when they host defending Section II champion Warrensburg at 7 p.m. at Corinth High School.