Looking for a darkhorse? Look no further than Fort Recovery

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Fort Recovery Football

Head coach Brent Niekamp’s four-year record of 10-30 at Fort Recovery
doesn’t look impressive on the surface. When you realize the Indians
are in the state’s toughest league – the Midwest Athletic Conference –
and the direction the program is heading, that win-loss record becomes
more notable.


Fort Recovery (3-7)

* Players to Watch – QB/DB Greg Kahlig (6-5, 195, Sr.); WR/DB Craig Tobe (6-3, 177, Sr.); WR/DB Nathan Keller (6-1, 175, Sr.); WR/DB Michael Gaerke (6-1, 170, Sr.); WR/LB Cody Fiely (6-2, 178, Sr.); OL/DL Adam Rohrer (5-9, 185, Sr.); OL/DL Mark Mattraw (6-4, 225, Sr.)

* Outlook –
Head coach Brent Niekamp’s four-year record of 10-30 at Fort Recovery doesn’t look impressive on the surface. When you realize the Indians are in the state’s toughest league – the Midwest Athletic Conference – and the direction the program is heading, that win-loss record becomes more notable.

Fort Recovery, which started football in 1992, has had one winning season in its existence (6-4 in 1994) and has only finished with a non-losing record once since then (5-5 in 2007). In Niekamp’s first two years the team went 2-18. The last two years the Indians are 8-12.

The future looks bright and this year’s senior class is arguably the deepest and most talented in program history.

“The fun thing about coaching these guys is seeing them develop over a period of a few years,” Niekamp said. “We have guys who are starting receivers now who were some of the slowest guys in junior high. I love to point things like that out, especially to our younger players. Not to talk about how bad someone used to be, but to point out what you can accomplish if you work hard.”

Kahlig is a prime example. A standout basketball player as well (he was the MAC POY in the sport and is being courted by several college programs), Kahlig might be the best football player in Ohio that no one outside the MAC has heard of.

The big, athletic signal caller is coming off a season in which he threw for 2,804 yards and 18 TDs. As a sophomore Kahlig threw for 1,579 yards and 16 TDs. Northwestern, Toledo, Akron, Miami, Ball State and Cincinnati have all visited the school to inquire about him.

Kahlig, who already owns school records for career, season and single-game passing yards and TDs, will have plenty of targets to throw to as well, as the Indians return a combined 1,756 receiving yards among four players: Tobe, Keller, Gaerke and Fiely. Tobe is in line to set career records for receiving yards and TDs. Last season he hauled in 51 passes for 795 yards and six TDs.

Mattraw is the lone returning starter on the offensive line, so that inexperience on the front is a concern in the MAC.

Rohrer is back to lead the defense after registering 44 tackles, including four for loss last year.

“Our offense should be able to score some points,” Niekamp said. “The areas that we must improve on are special teams and defense. If we can play consistently well in those two areas we will be a good team in 2009.”

Schedule

8/28 @ ANSONIA
9/4 CARDINAL STRITCH (OREGON)        
9/11 ANNA
9/18 @ MINSTER
9/25 PARKWAY (ROCKFORD)        
10/2 @ NEW BREMEN
10/9 VERSAILLES
10/16 @ ST HENRY
10/23 MARION LOCAL (MARIA STEIN)    
10/30 @ ST JOHN’S (DELPHOS)

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