PORT ARTHUR —
It’s been a year of firsts for Port Arthur Memorial senior quarterback Ricky Fisk.
Week Zero marked his first game as a starting quarterback on varsity.
In Week 6, he became the first 300-yard passer under Memorial head coach Kenny Harrison.
On Friday, he could also become the first Titan quarterback to throw for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in the regular season, if he can throw for just 225 more yards and add three TDs.
Not bad for a player who was on the freshman B team four years ago.
“We knew he had a tremendous work ethic last year,” Harrison said. “Once his turn came around, he took it and ran with it. He had a great offseason, a great summer and has gotten better each week. He’s always been hard-working kid. He worked himself up, starting off on the freshman B team.
“After a couple of injuries, he worked his way up to the freshman A team and the rest is history. He’s been in our program for four years, waited his turn and has taken full advantage of his opportunity.”
Fisk had tough shoes to fill, replacing first team all-state quarterback Terrence Singleton, who is redshirting at Baylor this season. But, Fisk has done enough to stand on his own right, out of Singleton’s shadow.
The biggest change for Fisk since last season is how he’s grown to be an essential leader for the Memorial team, and how he’s applied his excellent work ethic to all facets of preparation for games.
“He’s a tremendous leader,” Harrison said. “He shows up every morning to watch film. In the afternoon during the summer, he had a list of receivers he’d call up to get them down here so he could throw with them. He’d work out in the morning and then come back in the afternoon to throw. He’s fought through a lot of adversity, and I can’t think of a better kid to be in this position. We feel comfortable with Ricky leading this team to a state championship.”
Fisk has thrown for 1,775 yards this season, topping 300 yards twice. He’s also thrown 17 touchdowns to only four interceptions and recently went 77 straight passes without throwing a pick. The 6-foot-1, 175 pound senior is also the Titans’ leading rusher, picking up 824 yards on the ground this season and running for 12 more TDs.
In the open field, Fisk is a brilliant runner. He may not be the fastest player on the field, but he has a suddenness in short areas that makes him hard to catch. Add in his innate ability to make tacklers miss with small shifts of his weight and Fisk can easily be called a natural runner.
However, he says he’s truly a quarterback at heart and only tries to run if the play or the defense forces him.
“To me, I’m a quarterback,” Fisk said. “I like throwing the ball more than running it. But, if I have to run it, it is what it is. The running is for the running backs. My job is throwing it to the receivers, but I like doing both.”
One of Fisk’s biggest improvements as the season has gone on is in the passing game. The senior has gotten more efficient with his throws and is now second in the district in completion percentage at 61 percent.
“Ricky is a young man that evaluates himself, finds his weaknesses and tries to get better at them,” Harrison said. “After the Central game and the scrimmage, he saw some things he could work at and get better at. He and the quarterbacks coach (Cornelius) Harmon worked extremely hard on reading coverages, throwing the ball and just being more effective in the passing game. He’s done a tremendous job with that.”
As any good quarterback does, Fisk gives ample credit to his bevy of receivers for his own success. Fisk and the four starting wideouts are very close, watching film together each morning at 6 a.m. and working out together all summer.
You could jokingly say that junior Roderic Rucker is Fisk’s favorite target, since Rucker has 40 catches for 713 yards and 10 TDs this season, but Fisk has been a master of spreading the ball around this season.
Senior John Leday is right on Rucker’s heels with 38 catches for 412 yards. Fisk is so efficient at spreading the ball around that there has only been one game all season where each of the four starting wideouts did not have at least one catch, and that was when Rucker missed the Channelview game with an injury.
“I worked on passing all summer,” Fisk said. “Not just here, but also at home with all our receivers. I knew we’d be throwing the ball this year, so I wanted to get better. Doing 7-on-7 helped, but we just went out there to have fun. All four of my receivers are good. I can throw to any one of them and they’ll catch it. I have confidence in all of them.”
This week, the Titans will be vying for another first, as they try to win the team’s first district title under Harrison. Fisk says the team has been talking about that for a while now, as winning the district title is the first goal they want to reach on the path to a state title.
“We feel real good about playing La Porte and getting that district title,” Fisk said. “We’re going to be ready for them. We talk about it every day. This is one of two championships we’re trying to get.”
TITAN TIDBITS: The son of Tina and Ricky Fisk, Ricky is one of a handful of Titan players who have received offers to play for Morgan State. Fisk said he hasn’t decided on where he’d like to go to college just yet and is still talking to other schools like the University of Houston. … Titans fans are asked to wear black to this week’s game against La Porte for a “Blackout.”…Junior linebacker Dante Lovilotte leads the Titans in tackles this season with 74. He is also the team leader in tackles for a loss with six. Matthew Romar and Darius Hampton are tied for the team lead with four sacks each. C.J. Levine and James Jenkins are tied for the team lead with two interceptions, while Levine and Jalen Barnes each have four pass breakups. … The Titan defense continues on its path of setting records. Currently, the Titans are giving up 17.2 points per game, which is less than the 17.6 ppg they gave up in the regular season last year. No Memorial team has ever allowed less than 20 points per game in a season. The Titans are also averaging 243 yards per game, while no Titan team has ever allowed less than 250 yards per game in a season.
Five Questions with Ricky Fisk
Who is your favorite musician? Lil’ Wayne
What is your dream job? Playing in the NFL
What is your favorite food? Chicken
What is your favorite TV channel? ESPN
Do you have a secret talent? I can sing