By CONOR NICHOLL (Cnicholl1@gmail.com) for Sports in Kansas w/ Chet Kuplen
Brothers Blaize and Brady Foltz both started on the offensive line for TCU. Blaize, lightly recruited out of high school by major colleges, was the first Division I football player from Rose Hill.
He played at right guard for the Horned Frogs from 2009-12 with 26 starts. Blaize collected first team all-conference as a junior, and second team all-league as a senior. He finished his career at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds and was considered an NFL prospect.
Brady, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound offensive guard, played in 47 games with 13 starts at TCU and helped the program set several offensive records from ’11-15. Brady is currently an assistant football coach at Northeastern (Okla.) State University, an MIAA school.
Blaize worked in Texas, and then come back home and is employed at Walser Auto (BMW/Mercedes) as a car salesman in Wichita. He started training local prospective linemen. Scott Bolticoff brought his son, Noah, to train with Blaize. Noah was a freshman.
Blaize quickly saw similarities between himself and Noah. Both players were around the same size in eighth grade. He observed Noah’s “good heart,” and shy temperament. Noah’s dad, like Blaize’s father, has served in ministry.
Noah had limited football knowledge and had the passion to learn and improve. Noah told Blaize his ultimate dream was to play professionally, a message that still resonates with the coach. Early on, Foltz told Scott he believed Noah could become a Division I player.
“Just reminded me a lot of me and my brother,” Foltz said.
Three years later, Noah and Blaize remain inseparable, a bond that has yielded Kansas’ No. 4 recruit for the Class of 2021, according to recruiting industry leader 247 Sports. Noah, who transferred from Andover to Rose Hill before his junior year, has offers from Kansas, Kansas State and recently TCU and Vanderbilt.
“He is more like family,” Foltz said.
Bolticoff was 6-2, 215 when he first met Foltz. Now, Bolticoff, known for his faith, is a 4.0 student with a 28 ACT. He has grown to 6-foot-5, 275 pounds with a 350-pound bench, 500 squat, 335 clean, 545 deadlift and excellent flexibility.
A three-sport athlete, Bolticoff has been able to dunk for two years and can do a 180-degree dunk. The pair perpetually work out together. On his squat form, Bolticoff can drop his butt to his calves. They focus on daily hip mobility; Foltz calls Bolticoff’s hips “phenomenal.” Last year, Rose Hill finished 3-6 after 2-16 combined in the previous two years.
An offensive tackle/defensive end, Bolticoff had committed to Kansas State. Then, he de-committed May 14 shortly after the TCU offer came. Bolticoff said he was “not quite sure yet,” but “definitely leaning” toward TCU.
“I didn’t know if that was going to happen ever, honestly,” Bolticoff said. “I was hoping it would, because I have always wanted to go to TCU ever since I’ve wanted to play college football.”
Foltz’s father, Roger, grew up in Princeton, Kan. (population 277) and attended Richmond-Central Heights. He earned All-American honors at Coffeyville Community College and played at Wichita State and Wake Forest.
Roger was a Fort Hays assistant football coach and served more than 28 years in high school with teaching, counseling and administration. After nearly 20 years as Rose Hill’s counselor, Roger retired on June 1, 2020. He coached the Rose Hill lines in ‘19 with Blaize.
Blaize still remembers when he was around four to five years old and his dad coached at Leon-Bluestem. Blaize often ran around on the field. Once, Bluestem kicked the ball down the field, and Foltz took it right off the head. The players picked him up and put him on their shoulders.
“Ever since I could walk, I think I had a football, or I was tackling my dad,” he said.
In high school, college coaches told Foltz he was too small and not strong enough to play major college. In an era before Twitter and very limited cell phones, he had a lot of Division II interest, specifically with Pittsburg and Emporia State.
A coach at Hutchinson Community College sent Foltz’s tape to friends with the Mid-American Conference, which helped to grow the recruiting with smaller Division Is. Foltz received his first Division I offer mid-December of his senior year. TCU offered three weeks before Signing Day.
“Just fell in love with the place,” Foltz said.
Bolticoff is the second youngest of four children and the lone boy. Scott played safety at Cal Lutheran, and his mother, Erica, is from Great Bend. For one year when Noah was younger, the Bolticoffs served as missionaries in Brazil. Bolticoff gained a new appreciation for the blessings Americans have.
“Honestly, it’s a really interesting experience just overall,” Bolticoff said. “It was a blessing to get to be down there. It’s really eye-opening to get to work with a difficult culture and people and just to learn.”
Bolticoff’s sisters all attended Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire. Bolticoff went to Sunrise in middle school. Sunrise plays eight-man football, so he eventually transferred to Andover for 11-man.
“I was not very good at football at the time,” Bolticoff said. “I didn’t know really anything about being a lineman. I had no technical expertise at all.”
Foltz has continued to motivate Bolticoff, significantly focused on “flip the switch” and prove doubters wrong.
It’s the same tactic Roger used with Blaize and Brady in high school. Notably, Brady was introverted, and Roger helped build confidence.
“In order to flip the switch, you have to have confidence in yourself, confidence in who you are, and confidence in what you can be, and when we first met, I know that there wasn’t a lot of that,” Foltz said.
Foltz worked with Bolticoff’s personality in public. He purposefully put Bolticoff in uncomfortable situations where he had to make conversations. They would eat together, and Foltz made Bolticoff talk with the servers. At Andover, Bolticoff broke his ankle the first game of his sophomore year. He came back in midseason and earned a starting spot on the offensive line.
“I was really shy before then,” Bolticoff said. “I didn’t really know anything about football. I was an introvert more, and it was just really hard for me to talk to people, so once I got out on the football field, it just helps when Blaize finally taught me just be yourself, just play with heart and go hit someone, so that’s what I did.”
Last summer, Bolticoff started to grow into his body and his stock skyrocketed.
“He has put in that time, he has put in that work,” Foltz said.
Bolticoff and Foltz went to a high-profile linemen camp in Texas with multiple elite recruits. Bolticoff went 1-on-1 with a highly recruited Texan and rode him on his back on a pass set. Bolticoff continued the strong performance throughout the day. Foltz then realized what he had with Bolticoff was “special.”
Last fall, Blaize elected to switch after a year at Andover and coach at Rose Hill, a 13-mile trip south on Andover Road, and coach with his dad. The two Foltzs coached the line together. Bolticoff, who lives just outside of Andover, came to RH, too. Blaize said it was “always a dream” to coach with his dad.
“It puts me in tears sometimes when I talk to him about it, because it’s just one of those times that we will never forget as something special,” Blaize said. “That day in and day out, I got to hang out with my dad, and you can’t really beat that. That was the big motivator for sure.”
One of Foltz’s best friends is Huck Huckabee, a Bluestem graduate, powerlifter and owner at The Plaza Barbers LLC. Huckabee is a brand advocate for Supplement World in Wichita and is listed on the company’s Athletes page. Huckabee creates the workouts for Bolticoff and Foltz and emphasize explosion, strength gain, footwork, flexibility and speed.
At first, Bolticoff didn’t want Foltz to post his workouts on social media. However, Foltz believed people should see the lifts. Once a week, Bolticoff pushes a Toyota Tundra down the street, a length of about 300 yards. They’ve picked up heavy stones and thrown 2x4 logs. Normally, they lift at least three hours a day. During the COVID-19 quarantine, a friend provided a barn for the duo.
Foltz lives in Derby and has to drive 30 minutes to the farm, and Bolticoff 25. Foltz said the farm is in “middle of nowhere” off Thunder Road between Rose Hill and Andover. They’ve labeled the place Thunder Gym. During COVID-19, they built more strength and flexibility. Bolticoff put on 30 pounds in his squat in the quarantine.
In addition, Scott Bolticoff has served as Foltz’s mentor. Foltz said two to three years ago he “was definitely in a dark place.” Foltz has seen Scott as “kind of a pedestal.” Foltz has seen big changes in his health, job and overall lifestyle since he started to talk with Scott.
“I couldn’t thank him enough for those kinds of things, the way he’s changed me,” Foltz said.
Chet Kuplen, CEO/Founder of Sports in Kansas, on Bolticoff/Foltz
"I have watched this transformation before my eyes on social media and all I can say is wow. It's about as impressive as I have seen what a weight room can do for a kid that wasn't on any kind of recruiting radar 18 months ago. It doesn't just happen because he trains with a guy that was an All-Conference performer and multiple year starter at TCU either, it takes two to buy in and thats what both Blaize and Noah have done with this all/day everyday. I dont think people realize the hours that this has taken to get to where they are at. Blaize knows what he's doing when it comes to getting bigger and stronger, just check out any of his social media platforms for a few weeks and you will agree. It's kind of crazy to look back now and realize the first ever Faces in Kansas features we did were back in 2012 and Blaize was one of the kids featured by us back then and just finishing up at TCU. What people don't realize about him, he may be the strongest football player ever from the state of Kansas and was featured on the Freaks of College football by a major publication. I think Noah will have a shot to be a Top 11 caliber player this season with a big year. There are still a lot of people that don't know enough about him but I think that will change soon. He's just been put on the radar in the last year, so really the sky is the limit for this kid. Noah was a first team All-Non Senior pick from us last season and I had the opportunity to meet him at last seasons KSU vs. TCU game with Blaize, he's a great kid and model student as well. It's no secret the Rose Hill team has had some ups and downs but you have to think we will see some overall improvement this season. I dont personally know Coach Weber (just through social media interactions) but it seems like he's got some good things in the works for the program."
How is your training going currently with all that is going on?
Training is great. The goal and mindset hasn’t changed. Striving to be better everyday.
Working out with a guy like Blaize Foltz has to be pretty cool as one of the best high school lineman and likely the strongest we’ve had in Kansas?
Yes, Blaize has taken me under his wing and mentored me as well as pushed me to be the best I can be. It is a blessing to have someone who knows the game to teach you. Very few people get the opportunity to be coached by someone who has played at the highest level. He’s a perfectionist and he doesn’t expect anything less than perfection from me.
What is it like playing for Rose Hill?
Rose Hill is a great place to play. The atmosphere is always incredible, and they have a great tradition of football.
Favorite place to eat in the Wichita area?
You were a kid that blew up last year with some off-season training, what all went into that? I’m not sure I can even explain everything, but It was a lot of hard work and dedication. Waking up early to hit the gym. Lifting 2 or 3 times a day. A lot of conditioning and eating as much food as I could. You can’t take days off, even on your easy days you’re still stretching, watching film and finding other ways to improve yourself and your game.
Other teammates to watch at Rose Hill this season?
Bryce Bischler, Colton McGrew, Gary Tran, Chase Green.
What's it like to play for your coaches?
It’s a lot of fun. My coaches have made football very enjoyable for me, and I know I can always trust them. They are a great coaching staff, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
Plans this summer?
I plan to take a few classes through Butler Community College. I also plan to continue with my training schedule and hopefully intensify it as I gear up for my senior season.
What type of student are you?
I love school and learning. The teachers at Rose Hill are very good at their jobs. They have made school very fun for me.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
My dream is to play professionally, but I would also like to be finished with med school and hopefully pursuing a career as a cardiologist.
My biggest Role model is Jesus. My family are all strong Christians. I know I can’t be perfect, but I strive to be more like Jesus everyday.
Advice to younger kids wanting to get better in the weight room?
Enjoy the process. My favorite part about lifting is just seeing the little gains and improving myself. It isn’t going to be easy but very few things worth doing are easy.
How big is the weight room to your development?
Lifting is an essential part of my development as a football player. You just have to remember that it’s not just one thing. It’s all the little things that come together that improve you as a student-athlete. Yes, lifting is important, but it takes a balance of lifting, nutrition, stretching, and lots of rest to continually improve yourself.
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