What a whirlwind week for Ian Frye.
The Virginia kicker was named the Lou Groza Award Star of the Week after UVa's win over Louisville. Then he heads out to the thin air in Provo, Utah and kicks three first-half field goals.
But headed into the locker room at halftime, Frye received word through the coaches that his father was having chest pains. Mark Frye had suffered a heart attack in 2013, the day before Ian came back to training camp in Charlottesville. Ian had the chance to see his mom and dad before they left for the hospital at halftime and shared the news with a few of his special teams teammates in the locker room, but otherwise kept the news to himself.
And then proceeded to knock home a 46-yarder in the second half.
BYU's athletics department deserves praise for their response. They arranged a police escort to get Frye to the hospital to see his dad. Athletic Director Tom Holmoe visited the Fryes and brought Ian the meal he'd missed with his teammates. Ian stayed with his parents an extra night in Utah, then returned home after the team. Mark remains hospitalized in Provo.
Ian's play didn't escape national recognition this week either. The Groza Award named him Star of the Week for the second straight week. He was named ACC Specialist of the Week, also for the second straight week. The best part about the latter? It was Mark Frye who let Ian know about the honor; Ian received a text from his dad that clued him in.
Coach London gave Ian some major props as well, reiterating why the coaches chose to place the third-year from Bristol, Va. on scholarship over the summer.
It's stories like these that make it easy to be a Cavalier fan. The play on the field may have its ups and downs, and we may have our quarrels with decisions the coaches make. But to a man, these coaches and players have shown us that they are PEOPLE we can be proud of. At a time when that's not easy to find in sports, and especially not easy to find in the game of football, it's an accomplishment for which this program should hold its heads high.
(h/t to Marilyn Payne and Brad Franklin for their tweets during the press conference)