- The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week eight goes to Lucas Flygare of Burlingame High School in Burlingame, CA.*
The conference matchup between the Burlingame Panthers and the Hillsdale Fighting Knights came down to the wire Friday night, and it was senior Lucas Flygare that came up with the big stop to secure preserve the win for the Panthers.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Burlingame was up by eight and Hillsdale was driving down the field. Hillsdale was finding success running the ball against Burlingame all night, and continued to attack them on the ground. The final drive came down to a fourth-and-four play from the Burlingame seven-yard line, and having had success doing so all night long, the Knights handed the ball off to star running back, Nate Rosas. This time, it wasn't happening. The agile defensive lineman, Flygare, stuffed Rosas at the line of scrimmage and the Panthers took over for the win.
"It was huge," said Burlingame head coach John Philipopoulos. "They had all the momentum and had established a long drive. We needed a big play from somebody and we weren't surprised when it was Lucas that stepped up and made the play when we needed it," continued Coach.
Flygare has been a constant for Burlingame all year. Both his play and his leadership are paramount to the team and that sentiment is echoed among both his teammates and coaches.
His play on the field speaks for itself. Listed as the starting middle linebacker, Flygare is a two-way starter where he starts at guard on offense and also sees time on the defensive line as a linebacker. At about 175 pounds, he actually sees more reps on defensive line and has given teams problems all season long. His ability to rotate between defensive line and linebacker allows the Panthers to run two different defenses and keeps opposing offenses on their toes.
"Having Lucas changes how we are able to game plan and gives us a lot of flexibility. When we want an extra lineman, we've got an extra lineman. When we switch to a 3-4, we can drop him back. It makes it much easier for us as coaches when we are able to do those things," said Coach Philipopoulos
In terms of the significance of his leadership, that characteristic may even outshine his football talent.
"You can't speak enough about what he means to the team. Lucas is a team captain for us, but he's the captain of the captains. He's the motivator of this team," said Coach Philipopoulos.
"We lost a few we should have won early and Lucas really took control. He brought the intensity up and pulled the best out of all our guys and really challenged them to bring it to the next level. We beat Sacred Heart Prep after that, which was huge for us and I give Lucas a lot of credit for that. With his tempo at practice and his leadership, he pulled us through," continued Coach.
Flygare is also the goalie for the varsity soccer team and was a team captain as a junior for the varsity lacrosse team. Additionally, his performance in the classroom is just as impressive, if not more, and is something in which he takes great pride. Lucas currently maintains a 4.6 GPA.
"He's a highly, highly academic kid, spectacular teammate, and just a great kid all the way around. He's one of my favorites I've ever coached and he really has had such a positive impact on the program," insisted Coach Philipopoulos.
As the home school of the 49ers High School Player of the Week, Burlingame High School will receive a $500 grant for their football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, Lucas will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. At the end of the season, Lucas will be invited to the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where 49ers head coach, Chip Kelly, will officially present him with his award.