KHQA/ADVANCE Physical Therapy Barnstorm Tour: HIGHLAND
It might be the toughest rebuild in Tri State Football.
That said, David Raleigh's quest to elevate Highland from the gridiron doldrums is receiving a critical internal boost...courtesy of a player who is setting the template for the future success of Cougar Football for years to come.
Here's Tyler Fulghum.
"I go four quarters...I play to the whistle...I do not stop."
Those are the words of Highland senior LB Eli Harscher. Last year he never stopped hunting down ballcarriers. One of the real hidden gems in all of the tri-states, Harscher tallied 113 tackles last season for a 3-7 team.
"Eli's crazy, man. He flies around to the football on every play and he hits people hard," says running back Justin Roberts.
"Ya know if a lot of people don't know who Eli is, it shouldn't be that way. He is one heck of a player--one of the best linebackers I would say in all of the area--and he is the type of leader that you want on the defense," adds second-year coach David Raleigh.
There is no better measure of Eli's leadership ability than his relentless effort on and off the gridiron. Despite the recent struggles for the Highland football team, Harscher has his teammates working harder than ever before.
"He's the heart and soul of this team. Without him we wouldn't have much. We have some good players, but he is the heart and soul of this team," claims 6-foot-3 WR Paul Power.
"I like to lead by example on and off the field so that my teammates know what the right way is," adds Harscher himself.
With a renewed intensity reflecting the team's hardest working player, second-year coach Dave Raleigh expects his 2008 Cougar outfit to be far better equipped to handle the rigorous Clarence Cannon Conference.
Says Raleigh, "You know we can always improve on things, but I really like the work that these guys are putting in. We are lucky to have back a lot of returning skill position players like second-year QB Kyle Ellison. Justin Roberts and Eli Harscher return in the backfield as running backs. We got Paul Power and Matt Norcross coming back at wide receiver, so I expect big things. I'm ready to get the show going."