When asked about their relationship, Bishop Luers quarterbacks Quinn Cook and Noah Wezensky are quick to call each other friends.
But they are just as quick to mention how that doesn't matter when it comes to competing for the Knights' starting quarterback position, with the race ramping up when preseason practice begins next week.
“I want that starting job and I am sure Quinn is thinking the same thing,” Wezensky said. “I am taking this year a lot more seriously.”
It is a classic case of the seasoned veteran (Cook) trying to hold off the upstart youngster (Wezensky).
Cook started 12 games a season ago, including the Class 2A state championship game as Bishop Luers won its record-tying fourth consecutive title. For the year, he threw for 802 yards on 69-of-148 passing with six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Wezensky got the starting nod in a trio of games as a freshman last season while appearing in 11 contests overall. The 6-3 sophomore completed 30 of 68 passes for 413 yards with three touchdowns and two picks.
Entering training camp, both feel like they can make a case for themselves.
“I think after the playoffs last year (where) I took the team down to state and led us there, I feel like I am coming back as the returning starter,” said the senior Cook. “Don't get me wrong, Noah is going to be a great QB, but for right now I am playing like it's my job.”
After a summer with AWP on the 7-on-7 circuit where his recruitment blew up, Wezensky sees this fall as being one in which he can be atop the Knights' depth chart.
“Since last year, I have been getting more and more used to the position,” Wezensky said. “From studying film and being more calm in the pocket … I feel like I am bringing it all together.”
Despite the state title a year ago, it was a rocky campaign for the quarterback duo. Quinn began the season as the starter but gave way to Wezensky against Toledo Whitmer in the fourth game of the season.
Quinn re-emerged as the starter against Concordia Lutheran in Week 6 and never relinquished the position on the way to Lucas Oil Stadium.
“I think it was a good experience to go through that kind of adversity,” Cook said. “But there are a lot of dynamics with two quarterbacks. Sometimes the team doesn't always know who to follow.”
Wezensky is ready to turn his three-game audition from a year ago into a full-time role. He knows his ability to protect the football will go a long way toward who coach Kyle Lindsay chooses to start Week 1 against Snider.
“You see it in the NFL all the time with the QB battles and how they handle it,” Wezensky said. “You just have to compete and never take a play off.”
Lindsay said recently he would like to settle on one quarterback but “would not hesitate” to go with a shared role if one player does not emerge over the next few weeks.
But neither Cook nor Wezensky expects that to be the case.
“Both of us envision ourselves being the guy,” Wezensky said.
Let the competition begin.