Sam Emig's name has been one that opposing YAIAA lacrosse coaches have feared for a couple years now. He led all lacrosse players in scoring his sophomore and junior years.
Now he's giving opposing YAIAA football coaches a reason — actually, two — to fear him.
This fall, as a senior, he's climbing two YAIAA leader boards in his first season as Red Lion's starting quarterback.
In two blowout victories so far this season, Emig amassed 204 rushing yards and 159 passing yards and accounted for five touchdowns. He ranks in the top 11 in both rushing and passing, and he scored all those touchdowns without turning the ball over a single time.
“He was always a leader," Red Lion coach Jesse Shay said of Emig. "He might not have been the starting quarterback, but you saw it when he got in. He’s been a leader of the lacrosse team for a couple years. We saw him be a leader every chance he got. We just needed to see him do it on the football field.”
Sam Emig attended football workouts during lacrosse season in preparation for this season.
Emig's preparation for this football season started simultaneously with his terror on opposing lacrosse defenses last spring.
When Shay announced the schedule for spring practices, he made it clear that any players participating in a spring sport didn't need to attend. But Emig showed up to as many as he could anyway.
“He’s really dedicated. He just cares about the team," said Red Lion receiver Paul Jones, one of Emig's favorite targets. "The family we have is so strong, and that shows he’s dedicated to us even though he has a tremendous future ahead in lacrosse. It just means a lot to everybody.”
Emig's road to the starting quarterback position has been a long time coming. He's been training in offensive coordinator Taylor Green's system, with many of the same teammates, since middle school.
He got thrown into the starting job for parts of two games last season, throwing one touchdown and three interceptions against division opponents Northeastern and South Western.
“It was tough, but it wasn’t a huge shock because I grew up doing the same stuff," Emig said. "Getting some starts last year was definitely helpful for this year. I believe we can do big things this year."
Red Lion hosts Chambersburg this Friday and starts YAIAA Division I play next week with aspirations of winning the division title.
If Emig continues his hot start, he won't be surprising any of his teammates.
“I would’ve told you he would have a season like this four years ago," Jones said. "I’ve just had that confidence in him. He’s such a hard worker and he’s a really intelligent kid. He knows exactly what he’s doing in terms of what defenses are trying to do him. And he’s just a tremendous athlete: He’s got the speed, he’s got the strength and he can throw the ball really well.”