Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kohl headed for Hutch

March 15, 2007

The most feared presence on the Lansing High defense is taking his game to the next level.

Joe Kohl, a senior linebacker for the LHS football team, signed with Hutchinson Community College on Feb. 7.

Kohl played an instrumental role in helping LHS make three straight trips to the state playoffs. He said he hopes his experience with building a program will make him a useful piece of the puzzle at Hutch.

The Blue Dragons are in the midst of a rebuilding effort. They were 0-9 last year and finished last in the Jayhawk Conference. They hired a new coaching staff, however, and that may be the key to turning things around. Head coach Rion Rhoades was brought in from Fort Scott Community College where last year he helped the Greyhounds snap a 24-game losing streak, compile a 7-5 record and earn a trip to the Heart of Texas Bowl.

"(Fort Scott) was 0-22 before they got there, and when this coach got there they went to No. 12 in the nation," Kohl said. "Now that they're coming to Hutch, maybe they'll get the same results. I just want to be a part of it."

Kohl certainly was a big part of things at Lansing. He was the team's leading tackler for the past two years and had 256 stops during the past three seasons. He also recovered eight fumbles, snagged seven interceptions and had two sacks during three years on the varsity roster.

As a senior, he proved his versatility by also playing offense as the Lions' starting tight end. He caught a team-high 27 passes and led the club with 377 receiving yards for four touchdowns.

Kohl earned All-Kaw Valley League second-team honors at linebacker as a junior and first-team honors as a senior. In addition, he earned All-State first-team honors from the Wichita Eagle newspaper.

"That was a great accomplishment," LHS coach Bill Pekarek said of the All-State honors. "He's done a lot of good things for us as a linebacker."

Kohl plans to do great things for Hutch, and then he hopes to earn a roster spot at the University of Kansas.

"That's where my dad went, and my oldest brother goes there, so I've been kind of KU raised," Kohl said. "That'd be a big goal of mine, but I'll go wherever I fit in best. It might not be Division I. It might be Division II. I just want to play as long as I can."

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