Photo given to me by Heath Fetchik, credit to Jonathan Williams.
Heath Fetchik is a class of 2023 linebacker out of Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. Standing at 6’1″ and weighing 204 pounds with a 3.8 GPA, the senior benches 250 and squats 435 pounds. Fetchik has been described as one who looks towards the past for a better hit he can deliver. Earlier this week, I had the pleasant chance to speak with Fetchik.
Q: Why do you play the game?
“To me, football is completely different than any other sport in the brotherhood aspect and just the fact that you play for your teammates every play. So I would say for me I just play for the guys beside me and just for my love of Chardon.”
Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“I’m not 100 percent sure what will happen with college for me, so right now I’m just trying to focus on the present and everything I can control with this season. Right now, I’m considering baseball and football for college. I have 1 offer for baseball, so I’m kind of seeing if anything else pops up.”
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football? Did it or could it translate to baseball?
“My biggest lesson I would say is just to outwork the competition. I know that is kind of basic, but I truly believe [Chardon does things] other schools aren’t willing to do. I definitely feel this translates to baseball, because our 2022 team was very hardworking and I believe it helped us to win the state championship.”
Q: What does football mean to you?
“It means everything. [For me,] it’s just a way to block out everything bad in your life and any problems you may have. You just clear your mind and play.”
Q: What challenges have you overcome?
“My biggest challenge, I would say, would be when in my sophomore year I tore my meniscus. I was pretty much done for the whole season, and I considering quitting football. [Luckily,] I had people in my life – like my brother – who told me to stick through it. That ended up being a very good decision, just because football has become one of the biggest joys in my life and I feel I’ve become a better person from playing the sport.”
Q: What motivates you to keep playing?
“I would say just the situation I’m in at Chardon, with the coaching staff and just my love for the game.”
Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“I just try to complete my school work and everything in good time. [I make sure not to] wait until the day before it’s due. That way, I can focus on sports. Aside from school, I’m in the National Honors Society. I usually volunteer on the weekends for about three to four hours a month.”
Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“I would say just getting the pick to seal the 2021 state championship. It was surreal. It was just amazing, knowing all of the work we put in was going to pay off. And we kind of got to shut up all of the doubters and went back-to-back.”
Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“I try to just lift as much as possible. We do a lot of off season stuff for football at Chardon, like going up to the field and doing 7-on-7s on our own with other players, lifts, and Friday morning workouts.”
Q: How are you looking to improve your game?
“I’m trying to focus on running my feet better when I tackle, and to run through contact more often. I’m trying to not miss any tackles, and our linebacker’s coach has been emphasizing running my feet through contact.”
Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I would say my preparation is very strong. I spend a lot of time watching film and just trying to know my opponent as best as possible [before games].”
Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“Stay healthy, get 10 tackles per game, and to get to December 2nd this year.”
Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“Not particularly, but I try to play like past Chardon linebackers. Vince Ferrante, Brody Dotson, Cade McDevit… all of them were great players. [I want to be like them.]”
Q: What is your favorite part of playing linebacker?
“Being involved in every play, whether it be a run or a pass. Linebackers are the only position on the feild that are responsible for stopping the run play in and play out, but also have pass responsibility.”
Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“Football is definitely more physically because of the contact, challenging, but I would say baseball may be mentally tougher. [There’s a lot of failure involved.] If you hit a batting average of .300, you’re failing seven out of ten times, but you are still considered a good player.”
Q: What is something you want your coaches to know about you, past, present, or future?
“Just that I’ll do everything to the best of my ability and that I’m a hard worker.”
You can view his highlights here.