High school football fans in Northeast Ohio do not know much about football teams in western Ohio until they play them in the Ohio High School State Championship games. Names like Coldwater, St Henry, and Marion Local all become familiar. Made a trip to Maria Stein this morning to watch Marion Local QB Adam Bertke practice.
Last year, as I watched Marion Local beat Buckeye Central in the State Championship game, sophomore QB Bertke lead the way for Marion Local. Whether running, handing off, or throwing, I was amazed at his QB presence. A senior dominated team last year, the sophomore Q managed the game well. As he told me today, he will need to be more a leader. As any QB knows, leadership is huge, but Adam seems prepared to assume a leadership role.
This summer I saw him briefly at the Ohio State camp. After 45 minutes today, I came away impressed with his throwing mechanics. Needs to work on his feet and overall quickness, but listed at 6'5-195, he is still growing into his body. Adam believes his strength, accuracy, and rpm's are some of his strengths. When he wants to "spin it," he can. Also, like the way he stands tall in the pocket and like the way he sees downfield.
Playing football, basketball, and baseball leaves little time for anything else. Like most guys, he just hangs with friends in his freetime. Working a part time job cleaning up landscapes not only keeps him busy, but also keeps him in shape. He must spend some time with the books. Carries 3.5GPA Scored 21 on ACT.
Tim Tebow is a guy who Adam would really like to meet. Likes his work ethic. Likes his spiritual outlook on life. Likes the way Tebow finds a way to win. Much like Tebow, if the game his on the line, Adams wants the game in his hands. Trust me, from watching him play a basketball game last winter, Adam is a competitor, almost to a fault, if there is such a thing. But , also wanted the roundball in his hands. Actually, he made some clutch foul shots at the end.
Although the season has not begun, the Ohio Class of 2014 has some really good QB prospects. I like the QB's because the top ones have a load of potential and two years to improve on that potential. Safe to say that Adam is in my top five. Much like Chris Durbin from Youngstown Ursuline, he may not be a total spread QB because he does not run well enough. But he is 6'5 and athletic; he will be fine.
Years ago I remember driving to St Henry to watch a very athletic, tall quarterback named Bobby Hoying. I do not know if Adam Bertke is another Bobby Hoying, but I like his potential to be a highly rated quarterback in the Ohio Class of 2014.