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A ride worth waiting on
Manteca High alumnus Beau Fryer tries to knock RB Josh Harper, a graduate of St. Marys, off balance during Fresno States spring game on March 25. - photo by Photo courtesy of RICK DODD/Fresno State Athletics

More often than not, hard work doesn’t get rewarded.

Of course for the individual, yeah, they earn that self-respect and get the privilege of knowing the feeling of accomplishing a tough task. But I guarantee there are more athletes that work hard each and every day, summers included, and never get a meaningful play.

Athletes who realize that get a firm grasp on the fact that nothing will be given to you. No starting nods, no playoff-roster spots, no meal-money or even a spot on the travel roster. None of that is just given, it has to be earned.

The players headed in that direction are on that path early on.

You see them playing hard – every snap – coaches depend on them, players are inspired by them and winning is almost life and death. Even for THAT player, there are no guarantees and the reality may be that your hard work may never get the recognition it deserves.

For 2008 Manteca High graduate and current Fresno State defensive back Beau Fryer, that will not be the case. Fryer’s decade-long dedication to the game of football was rewarded when he was awarded a full athletic scholarship from Fresno State for his senior year.

Fryer was a playmaker for the Delta College Mustangs that garnered a postseason ranking during his sophomore season two years ago. Fryer made the natural progression to the NCAA Division-I ranks and solidified his role in the program with a relentless work ethic.

Fryer’s impact on the Bulldog’s first-year head coach Tim DeRuyter and his coaching staff resulted in DeRuyter giving the former Buffalo the full ride. Not only will Fryer’s impact on the Bulldogs’ upcoming season likely increase, the victory in being awarded the scholly will undoubtedly keep the standout  motivated.

“During camp we would end practice with theses “look-a-like” games where a player is called up and compared to a celebrity,” Fryer said. “It’s just a fun time for our team to relax after practice. They kept putting me up there back-to-back-to-back. I’m thinking ‘Why do they keep making fun of me’, and at the end coach announced that the reason they picked on me tonight was because I’d worked hard all spring and summer and they felt I deserved a scholarship.

“It was definitely one of the best moments in my career.”

Even if the coaching staff would not have blessed Fryer with arguably the biggest collegiate financial break possible, Fryer would have still worked all summer. He’s never ran resistance sprints, spent hours in the weight room, or crafted his return-specialist skills for a scholarship.

But that’s exactly what earned him one.

Obviously, the new commander in chief for Fresno State football saw something throughout his brief time that inspired him to reward Fryer. I’m sure it was something Eric Reis saw five or six years ago and something that will propel him through his football career.

People like Beau Fryer very seldom get rewarded. They hear you’re too small, or you’re too slow more than they hear good job. But not this time.

The hard-working, determined, over-achieving kid got his just due, and now for his senior year him and his parents have no funds due.

“I feel they gave me the scholarship for being so accountable and reliable,” Fryer said. “I’ve handled my responsibilities; I held a 3.7 (grade point average) last semester in the classroom, I’ve never missed a meeting, I’ve never been late. They rely on my and they trust me.  The trust is really what it is.

“When they can depend on you then they will begin to trust you.”