CRANFORD, NJ – Will Fries, a senior offensive lineman for Cranford High School football, was honored with the prestigious selection to the Semper Fidelis All-American Football Team, at a ceremony held at Cranford High School, Monday Nov. 16.
Cranford Athletic Director Darren Torsone welcomed those in attendance, including representatives from the Marine Corps, the superintendent of schools, high-school administration, coaches, teachers, teammates and family. On Fries' selection, Torsone said, “We are happy and proud of you, we are honored you are going to represent our school, your football team, our community and your family.”
Marine Corps Captain Alonzo Meek Jr. had high-praise for Fries, “Your commitment on the field and in the classroom, the leadership you have shown in school and your community and the courage you display in choosing a positive life-path makes you an inspiration to your hometown.” Meek then presented Fries with an honorary game jersey.
A distinguished selection, Fries is one of 92 athletes selected nationwide to play in the bowl. In a speech, Fries thanked those in attendance from his parents to the Marines and said, “It is an honor to be selected and I could not have accomplished this without my teammates and coaches.” He continued, “In football we don’t play for ourselves we play for that person next to us, just like the Marines, they play for their team, the American Team, for that we thank-you.”
“For Will to be recognized as an all-American, is a great reflection on him and the program.” Coach Erik Rosenmeier commented. When asked to speak of the kind of kid Fries is, he said, “As good of a football player Will is, he’s a better kid. He’s a gentleman, a solid student and all-around good person. It makes us all feel good when a good kid has good things happen.”
The 5th Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl will take place on Jan. 3, in Carson, California. The game will air on FOX Sports 1 at 9:00 p.m..
According to its website, www.semperfidelisfootball.com Semper Fidelis distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork—it is a brotherhood that can always be counted on. Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what. Becoming a Marine is a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fidelis is a permanent reminder of that. Once made, a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps. In addition to Semper Fidelis, Marine Corps Officers also embrace the phrase Ductos Exemplo, "to lead by example," the motto of Officer Candidates School (OCS). Instructors look for candidates who display self-reliance, discipline and responsibility. Desire and motivation to lead Marines are deciding factors in an officer's success.