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Oberle steps in to coach Division II All-Star squad

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Doug Oberle is entering his eighth year as Victoria High School head coach. This Saturday will be the fourth time Oberle has coached the Eight-Man All-Star Game in Beloit, second as head coach. This year, Sharon Springs-Wallace County's Kevin Ayers was supposed to be the head coach, but couldn't because of other engagements, and asked if Oberle could step in.

Oberle has Sylvan-Lucas' Ben Labertew as offensive coordinator and Weskan's Marc Cowles on the defense for the Eight-Man Division II West squad. The Division II game will start at 10 a.m. at Trojan Field.

"Every time you come up here, it is just an honor," Oberle said. "You learn so much as a coach and you pick things up. I think it makes you a better coach when you get back to your school and to your team throughout the season. This year has been no different. Great coaches on the west Division I and Division II East. You pick so many things up. You learn how to coach kids. You just become a better football coach."

Oberle's roster includes Victoria running back/linebacker Dalton Dreiling and a host of running backs. Every time, Oberle has been at Beloit, it's been "humid and hot." This year, the weather has been much nicer. Dreiling put together strong sophomore and junior years, but missed nearly all of his senior season because of an injury.

"When you go to the coaches' meeting to select, the guys know the players," Oberle said. "Our opponents know us fairly well. He was lucky enough to get enough votes. Great accomplishment for him."

Wallace County's Gavin Mote, a four-year starter for the Wildcats, is expected to see plenty of time under center. Dighton's Ryan Kuhlman and Wilson's Jordan Bess are also listed as quarterbacks for a team that is expected to run multiple offenses. Kuhlman, though, is expected to play a lot more defense and will play some quarterback in spread looks. Bess will be at tight end and could get some snaps at quarterback in the spread, too.

The line features six players at 200 pounds or bigger, including Bird City-Cheylin's Joshua Keltz at 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, the tallest player by four inches on either squad.

The coaches moved Keltz up and down defensive line; Oberle said Keltz "really did a great job" on the line in Thursday morning's practice. Keltz could see some time at tight end as well. The East will counter with a line that includes Chase's Eric Root (6-2, 275) and Baileyville B&B's Curtis Stallbaumer (6-5, 250), players with more weight than any West player.

"Wingspan like a 747," Oberle said. "He can really disrupt some things if we can get a good little push up the middle and if he can get his hands up, it can make it very difficult for a pocket passer. With his arm length, he can make tackles from across the field. He has really, really stepped up for us."

Oberle joked there "seemed like there's about 17 kids" who could play running back. Otis-Bison's Dylan Wissman and Thunder Ridge's Trevor Lowe will see plenty of playing time. As well, Oberle named Beloit/St. John's-Tipton's Eriq Perez, Weskan's Brandan Escamilla and Sylvan-Lucas' Brogan Naylor as players who have impressed in the backfield.

"We are very capable at that position, and Dylan and Trevor are both going to start for us, and see a lot of time and get a lot of touches, but very talented group," Oberle said.