OAKLAND CITY -- Unsure whether Wood Memorial will field a football team the coming high school season, Dylan Frederick will play in Australia.
He'll fly four hours from Louisville to Los Angeles, and then 18 hours to Gold Beach, Australia, on Sun., June 30, his 16th birthday.
"It'll be my first time flying, but I'm not scared. It's time and I'm looking forward to it," said Frederick, who as a freshman in 2017 started at center and in the defensive line on Wood Memorial's only football team since 2015.
As a sophomore golfer this spring he played mostly the sixth-man role, but moved into the No. 5 position in the Washington Regional for which the Trojans qualified by placing third in the Vincennes Lincoln Sectional.
"Last September I heard from Down Under Sports and received the invitation to play in Australia this summer," said Frederick, now a 6-foot, 275-pounder after playing as a 5- 11, 250-pounder the 2017 season.
"Not sure then that we'd have a football team the coming high school season, and still not sure of that because it's not set in stone, I jumped at the chance to play in Australia. I think three other Wood Memorial guys got an invitation, but I'm the only one who accepted.
"We had to raise $4,000 to cover all the expenses. The whole community helped me with that, and we raised the money by late-January. The deadline was a few weeks ago, so we easily beat that deadline," said the son of former Wood Memorial lineman Ray Frederick and the now Kathryn Hoffman.
Word is that if Wood Memorial fields a football team this coming season, it'll be junior varsity. "But we've had just 15 or 16 kids in the weight room on as regular basis, and that's why it's not set in stone. I've been lifting the past few weeks.
"And just like I felt last September when the Australia opportunity was offered, I don't want my freshman year to be my last football season."
Dylan Frederick, nephew of former Wood Memorial football players Kelly Byers and Craig Byers, and brother of incoming freshman volleyball, basketball and softball candidate Grace Frederick and forthcoming first grader and tee ball player Presley
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Frederick, and his dad plan to drive June 29 to Louisville and spend the night there before heading to the airport early the next day.
"It'll be July 1 when I arrive in Gold Beach, and we get a free day before starting practice. A Down Under coach -- I can't think of his name -- calls me a couple times a month, asks how I'm doing and provides information. On the free day we can go to a kangaroo field or go scuba diving.
"I don't know what team I'll play for, won't know that until after I get there. I know we'll play at least three games, the first on July 4. I'm told there will also be playoffs if our team qualifies, and then there'll be a championship game before we leave on July 9.
"I guess I'll be a lineman there like in high school. I just want to be the best player I can be."
Frederick's love for football "comes from dad's stories about his own football career. I think he graduated from Wood Memorial in 1991. His stories made me want to play a contact sport, so I got into football in grade school, stayed with it through junior high and then played as a freshman.
"Our 2017 team had only about 16 kids. I remember when we played at Eastern Greene, which reached the Class A state championship game that year. We had only 11 players at Eastern Green. That was a tough, overwhelming experience, but I learned from it.
"Now I want to learn all I can in Australia. Hopefully that won't be my last football experience."