When you have a leg like McPherson's Drew Schrader, who needs football experience? When he asked Jace Pavlovich, football coach for McPherson High School, that he wants to go out for football, his goal is to bring home a state title. As Bullpups advance to the Class 4A semifinals, Schrader continues to show every week that he is the missing piece ofMcPherson's puzzle of reaching its first-ever state championship finals.
"Every week, I just go into thinking it's just like a new game," Schrader said. "I have to start at zero, and I have to prove myself that week."
Usually, Schrader is being accounted for PATs after the Bullpups score a touchdown. However, in Friday's quarterfinal, it was Schrader who was the top scorer as he made all four of his field goals in McPherson's 26-6 win over Arkansas City High School. Schrader credits the team chemistry with his field-goal unit.
"Everyone has been doing their jobs," Schrader said. "I can't miss when (Dylan) Rinker snaps the ball perfectly to Jakob (Feil), and he holds it perfectly. Also, the blocking... It makes my job a whole lot easier."
Schrader was named Most Valuable Player in the AVCTL Division III League earlier this week and could receive all-state honors in Class 5A after recording 23 goals for the McPherson boys soccer team. A soccer player at heart, he might consider kicking for a college football team since all's he been doing every week is kick college field goal posts. Pavlovich is convinced that the senior belongs on a college football field.
"He's a college kicker, but I also know that he's capable of being a college soccer player too," Pavlovich said. "One thing I know about Drew is how gutsy of a kid he is."
Schrader is not afraid of new challenges. Pavlovich mentioned after Friday's win that he tried out for track and field last spring and just continued to show his natural, gifted athleticism.
"He came out for track and ran the 400 without any experience and shaved like eight seconds off and was just a bulldog out there," Pavlovich said. "That's the kind of kid I wanted in our program."
For Schrader, all he wants to do is win for McPherson, and he has the chance to do so when the Bullpups face Andover Central High School in next Friday's semifinals.
"All I care about is doing all I can and just help the school, and our sports succeed," Schrader said.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter@Petes_Picks_