Three-way battle for quarterback continues in preseason

Juniors Blaise Schillace (left) and Preston Samoden (center) and sophomore Michael Lambert (right) are battling for the Hawks' starting quarterback position.
Juniors Blaise Schillace (left) and Preston Samoden (center) and sophomore Michael Lambert (right) are battling for the Hawks' starting quarterback position.

Head Coach Mike Turk on Day 10 of the preseason: "Things went pretty well today. Really, since the scrimmage on Wednesday, we've had good energy both days. It seems like our attitude is good and we're trying to find a way to get better every day.

"We seem to have some guys who are starting to figure some things out. We're still making some mistakes here and there, but we're starting to play a little faster and we're starting to come together a little more."


Position Spotlight – Quarterback


Projected Starter: Preston Samoden (Jr.) or Blaise Schillace (Jr.) or Michael Lambert (So.)


A Closer Look: Three players are vying to replace second-team All-Conference quarterback Chip Taylor. Juniors Preston Samoden and Blaise Schillace and sophomore Michael Lambert have been battling for the starting position since the beginning of preseason camp. As of Friday, the quarterback battle is still going strong.

All three players saw action for Huntingdon last season, with Samoden and Schillace each earning one start when Taylor missed time with an injury. The trio combined to pass for 846 yards and 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.

All three players have had their moments during the preseason. But a clear-cut No. 1 has yet to be decided.


Turk on the three-way battle at quarterback: "Samoden, Schillace and Lambert have been battling since the start of training camp. They all played for us last year and they all played in the heat of battle. So, they do have experience. But they're not as experienced as I'd like for them to be.

"I'm not ready to say who our guy is yet, but it is starting to sort itself out a little. In the last couple of practices, all three of them seem to be operating a little more smoothly. They're anticipating things a little better and deciphering things a little more quickly. That's been good to see. We threw a lot at them early and we've been pretty confused at times. But the last few days have been better for all three of them and I'm encouraged by that." 

Turk on the learning curve at quarterback: "Quarterback is arguably the hardest position to play, and in today's game, it's even more intense. The quarterback has a lot of things he has to process before the ball is snapped and even more after the snap.

"That's really where our issues have been this preseason. We've seemed like we were bogged down with trying to process everything and we couldn't just play. But that has gotten better and it looks like we're starting to make some progress. We still have a lot of things we have to work on and improve on, but we're seeing improvement."


Next Practice: The Hawks return to the practice field on Sunday at 4 p.m. for the final practice before classes begin. Practices are open to the public.