Mercer Island Islanders senior football player Bryce Fitzwilson utilizes speed and quickness on the gridiron. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Mercer Island Islanders senior football player Bryce Fitzwilson utilizes speed and quickness on the gridiron. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Controlling the edge with speed and quickness

Stalwart defensive end Bryce Fitzwilson leads by example.

Mercer Island Islanders senior football player Bryce Fitzwilson doesn’t let his lack of weight (215 pounds) on his 6-foot, 3-inch frame hinder him on the football field.

In fact, the lack of bulk benefits him in many instances.

“They (opponents) typically underestimate me because I’m not huge but I’m quicker and faster than them. I can do a lot of stuff with my hands and feet that they can’t do. I use that to my advantage,” Fitzwilson said.

Speed and savvy is where Fitzwilson thrives on the gridiron.

“Hand fighting and being quick off the line of scrimmage is so important. If you beat somebody with an appropriate speed and they have to react to you, then you already have the advantage,” Fitzwilson explained.

The well-spoken defensive end, who revealed on his Twitter handle that he scored a 33 on his ACT exam, relishes the role of being one of the leaders of the football program.

“A huge team goal is that I want to ensure there is a bond between every single class on the team and also I want to make sure that all of our players are staying in line and are working at game speed. We need to be playing 100 percent at every single practice,” Fitzwilson said.

Fitzwilson believes the qualities of leadership learned on the football field will benefit him later in life.

“It is nice because I get to share my experience but I also get to hear from a large group of people every day and get a lot of responses. It is just good practice (for the future) honestly,” Fitzwilson said.

Recently the Mercer Island Reporter had an opportunity to ask Fitzwilson some questions about his life away from the football field.

Mercer Island Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Bryce Fitzwilson: It is probably the “Lord of the Rings” series. It piqued my interest in exploration and getting my brain really working about how the whole world works together.

MIR: What is your biggest pet peeve?

BF: When people make excuses over, over and over again. Especially for simple tasks.

MIR: What is your favorite restaurant on Mercer Island?

BF: Pagliacci’s Pizza. I love pizza. It is really good.

MIR: How many text messages do you send per day?

BF: I probably send 100. Eighty percent of that is probably to my girlfriend.

MIR: What is your dream vacation spot?

BF: Costa Rica. It is a tropical environment with tons of hiking. It has a super consuming environment.

MIR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?

BF: My grandparents. Every time I have a conversation with them, it starts off slow and then I end up getting into a really great conversation.

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