For Fritz Waldvogel, the number two might just be his lucky number.
In his time at St. Thomas, Fritz Waldvogel led the Tommie football team to two MIAC championships and was MIAC player of the year twice. Now playing in the German Football League for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns, Waldvogel wears the number two on his jersey and helped the team defend its title to win its second German Bowl championship.
Waldvogel, a former Tommie wide receiver who graduated in the spring of 2012, scored two touchdowns for the Unicorns, who clinched a 56-53 win over the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes Saturday, Oct. 13, in the 34th German Bowl championship.
Waldvogel scored on a 3-yard pass from Jake Sptizlberger to give Schwäbisch Hall a 27-24 lead at halftime. The scores remained close in the second half when Spitzlberger connected with Waldvogel again for a 56-yard pass, bringing the Unicorns closer to the Hurricanes’ 53-45 lead.
With the team’s success, Waldvogel said he doesn’t mind the dubbed “Spitz and Fritz” nickname.
“He is an ultimate competitor as well as I am, and we worked well together,” Waldvogel said. “Not only is he a great football player, but also a great person as well, which made our football connection even better.”
Schwäbisch Hall won in the last 40 seconds with a field goal bringing the final score to 56-53.
Coach Glenn Caruso said he is not surprised by Waldvogel’s success.
“The kid is a competitor, he’s a winner,” Caruso said. “Certainly he is a great athlete, but he’s just a fantastic football player.”
Caruso said he likes to keep in touch with Waldvogel through emails and text messages to see how he’s doing.
“I talked to him today on the email. He was supposed to be back tomorrow and I said, ‘What time does your flight get in? I can’t wait to see you.’ And he told me that they’re keeping him over there for another week to do some PR stuff because everyone is so excited about the success they’ve had. He’ll be back on the 24th, I just can’t wait to see him,” Caruso said.
Waldvogel said he has been tracking the Tommie football team, and looks forward to attending the game against Augsburg on Saturday, Oct. 27.
“It has been great to see all the young players step up and be prime time players in the league,” Waldvogel said. “Coach Caruso has not only a great team but also an amazing group of young men that represent the university very well.”
Former teammate senior cornerback Ryan Deitz said he knew Waldvogel would do well playing for the Unicorns.
“I pretty much expected that out of him,” Deitz said. “He’s such a hard-working kid.”
Junior wide receiver Dan Noehring said he believes the Tommie football program has helped Waldvogel’s career in Germany.
“I absolutely think that the program that we have really can transform players’ mental toughness and competitiveness to something much higher than it was before, and I think that’s exactly what happened with Fritz,” Noehring said. “He’s doing very well over there.”
Caruso said he thinks the experience of playing for the Unicorns has allowed Waldvogel to grow.
“I think that’s going to round him out even better than he was when he went over there,” Caruso said. “He is a tremendously well-rounded young man and this probably just adds a little bit of depth to that.”
Sean Crotty and Baihly Warfield contributed to this story.
Cynthia Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.