St. Xavier quarterback Chase Wolf proving to be one of Ohio's best players

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Chase Wolf has experienced a dream come true this season as the St. Xavier quarterback.

That’s regardless of the Bombers’ undefeated record and strong placement in the national rankings.

"I've had an absolute blast,” Wolf told WCPO.com this week. "Ever since freshman year I've developed a chemistry with the guys, so it’s been great between the seniors. Since the start of mini-camp the seniors have definitely developed a great chemistry with the underclassmen as well.”

Wolf, a senior who is verbally committed to Wisconsin, has thrown for 945 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Bombers (5-0, 1-0 Greater Catholic League South division). St. X ranked No. 13 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 and No. 19 nationally by USA Today Super 25.

“I think he’s the best I’ve ever had,” St. X coach Steve Specht said. “He sees things. The ball gets out of his hands quickly. When it doesn’t, he’s able to create. So I am proud of him. He’s getting better every week.”

St. Xavier senior quarterback Chase Wolf has thrown for 945 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. (Photo by Tony Tribble/WCPO contributor) 

Last week, Wolf was 16 of 26 passing for 202 yards and a touchdown in a 30-7 win over host Moeller. He also rushed for a touchdown.

Specht likened Wolf's style to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield

“He’s like playing a video game sometimes,” Steve Specht said. "You think he’s sacked and he pops out and runs around and finds an open guy.”

Wolf also continues to build a case for Cincinnati-area offensive player of the year honors and possibly beyond that.

“He should prove to be the No. 1 quarterback in Ohio for the class of 2018,” ScoutingOhio.com director Mark Porter said. “He has a very strong arm with a degree of accuracy. He has dual-threat ability in high school. He can move around the pocket or beat you with his feet. He’s very smart, understands offensive concepts and shows poise as he goes through progressions.”

Senior wide receiver Cameron Specht has seen all intangibles first hand. But like the other St. X teammates, he’s seen Wolf’s demeanor under pressure. “He’s the man,” Cameron Specht said.

Wolf and Specht studied film together on their iPads in the offseason. They worked on their timing this past winter inside Berning Gymnasium. When the weather got warmer, they worked on similar reps on Ballaban Field.

“Chase throws the ball perfectly,” Cameron Specht said. “I don’t have to worry about it. I come off my break and I know the ball is going to be right where it needs to be. Whether that would be right over the defender’s head or between two guys -- Chase zips it in there. He does a great job leading this team.”

More than a game

Every Friday night, Chase Wolf recognizes he’s not only playing for St. Xavier football but also for his family.

The Wolf family name is synonymous with Cincinnati-area athletics -- from the high school to the pro level. The family has deep roots at St. Xavier, Mount Notre Dame and elsewhere. Its success is well documented.

“I take a lot of pride in carrying my family’s name around,” Chase said. “The name alone pushes me to be better than those who have come before me.”

Former Cincinnati Royals coach Charley Wolf -- Chase’s grandfather -- was a football and basketball standout when St. Xavier was located Downtown in the 1940s.

Although the origin of the Bombers nickname still has mysterious roots, it is commonly accepted the change from the Conquerors or Conquistadors to the Bombers happened in the 1940s when Wolf and George Ratterman were basketball and football standouts. It was Charley Wolf who was on the receiving end of many of Ratterman’s passes.

“When I was a kid I knew that my dad (Steve) and my uncles (Marty, Greg, Jeff, Dan and David) were very special athletes here (all playing basketball), but I had no idea that my grandpa was as good as he was,” Chase said. “The story of the changing of the name from the Conquistadors to the Bombers was something that I believed was very special.”

Charley Wolf, 91, coached the Royals from 1960 to 1963. He coached Oscar Robertson during the triple-double season of 1961-62.

Chase, 18, has a very close relationship with his grandfather. 

“If he is unable to make the games, he'll text me wishing me luck,” Chase said. “I believe any grandfather loves seeing their grandchildren do something that they love, and it's very special for my grandpa because he was part of the foundation of the football program here, so he loves it.”

Chase is eager to learn the wisdom of his grandfather whenever he’s able to see him.

“His advice to me is to always stay humble and to just play my game,” Chase said. “I've heard it several times in my life from either him or my dad, and each time it brings me a new perspective.”

‘Be a leader, not a follower’

CBS Sports Network college basketball analyst Steve Wolf, a former Xavier University basketball player, and his wife Jeanne advised their son to play a sport or an instrument growing up.

Chase had plenty of options athletically. He played basketball, naturally, because of the family background. He was also a switch-hitting catcher.

As a youngster, Chase thought of putting on the St. X jersey nearly every day, but it was in basketball --- a sport he still plays -- not football. Still, he attended Bombers’ football games going back to the fifth grade with longtime friend and neighbor, senior running back Matthew Fox.

Everything changed in September 2012 when Wolf saw the Bombers defeat Moeller at Ballaban Field. He fed off the energy from the crowd. Chase saw football as a complement to basketball. 

When he joined the St. X football program as a freshman in 2014, no further convincing was needed.

“I was all basketball until my freshman year; that was the year that made me fall in love with the game of football,” Wolf said.

Chase became the first Wolf to play football at St. X since his grandfather Charley starred in the 1940s. That carried plenty of significance. 

“In our family, it’s ‘Be a leader, not a follower,’” Steve Wolf said.

Last week -- nearly five years later -- it was Chase and Matthew helping the Bombers’ offense to its first GCL South win this season.

Chase may field a lot of the questions in post-game interviews, but the Friday night result is a team effort. He credited the offensive line, the receivers and Fox, who had 116 rushing yards.

“Chase will be the first to tell you -- those guys are doing their jobs,” Steve Specht said.

Wolf will also be the first to admit his own flaws. He threw his first interception of the season in the first quarter Sept. 22 against Moeller. He had not been picked off in 104 attempts prior to that.

“As long as we win I don’t really care,” Wolf said. “I could throw 20 interceptions -- as long as we win.”

Steve Wolf liked how his son conducted himself after that play.

“Life is about how you respond after an interception,” Steve said. “That’s what makes me proud.”

There was no better response from Wolf and the Bombers than Week 2 on a very rainy night at Colerain.

With St. X training 14-0 midway through the fourth quarter Sept. 1, the Bombers didn’t panic. Wolf never had doubt in the second half. 

Wolf led two scoring drives and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime to give the Bombers a 20-17 win. He played it cool during post-game interviews simply by saying it was a fun experience. Cameron Specht raced toward him playfully from across the field in the rain. 

“We have all the confidence in the world in Chase Wolf,” Cameron Specht said. “He always does a great job. He leads us like no other.”

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