April 10, 2013
Chevalier continues to rise to the challenge
By David Boyce
The last thing Northwest Missouri State football coach Adam Dorrel wants to hear his offensive lineman say to an opponent on game day is “oops, I’m sorry I knocked you down.”
As a former Bearcat offensive lineman, Dorrel recognizes a little nastiness is required on the football by the players in the trenches.
Dorrel sees that in center Cole Chevalier, who enters his junior year with already two years of starting at Northwest on his football resume.
“I just love being in the trenches, physical and nasty,” Chevalier said. “There is no other position on the field that you can hit someone like we do every single play.”
That is the perfect mentality.
“He came here with great toughness, the things you look for in an offensive lineman. He has a little nastiness to him,” Dorrel said.
“He works hard. He works hard in the weight room. He is tenacious and very durable.”
Chevalier’s work ethic is what Dorrel likes most right now.
For all 15 spring practices, Dorrel can count on Chevalier to give maximum effort. That has not been the case for every Bearcat.
On Monday, Northwest had another OK workout, the second one in the last nine days.
“I challenged our kids,” Dorrel said. “I felt like some of the older guys were going through the motions on Monday. I really challenged them after practice.”
Chevalier, though, has raised his game to another level during spring practice. Dorrel said Chevalier is getting out and blocking linebackers, something he has never done before.
“He is having an awesome spring,” Dorrel said.
Although Chevalier is still a sophomore athletically, when the 2013 fall season opens, he will be a junior and someone the younger players will look to for leadership.
Chevalier admits he is not a rah, rah type of player. He knows he is now in a leadership role and the way he does it is by working hard on the field, in the weight room and giving advice and reminders about how Bearcats conducts themselves off the field.
When it comes to playing football, Chevalier has a true passion for the game. It doesn’t matter that offensive linemen don’t get the same recognition as quarterbacks and running backs.
They measure their success in other ways, team ways.
“Honestly, keeping my quarterback untouched. I take a lot of pride in that,” Chevalier said. “I am motivated whenever we have a running back that can break the 100-yard mark in a game or we have a running back that has a big game. That reflects back to us. I take pride in that as well.”
A year ago, Northwest failed to have a 1,000-yard rusher. Dorrel has heard his offensive linemen talk about returning to that form.
“We are going to be more run-oriented,” Chevalier said. “We try to balance our attack on offense, 50 percent run, 50 percent pass. We feel the strength of our team is the offensive and defensive line. We have a great set of backs that will be running the ball for us. We definitely feel we can pound the rock more consistently and more often during the course of the game.”
Northwest returns the majority of its starters on offense and defense. The way last season ended left the Bearcats hungry for even more success in 2013.
The 2012 season concluded in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Northwest lost 38-35 in double overtime to Minnesota Mankato. The Bearcats showed their character in that game by battling back from a 21-0 halftime deficit.
“We came out and executed and our defense played amazing and put us in position to score,” Chevalier said. “That is what put us back in the mix.
“Just being that close motivates us. Coach said at the end of the year that we are not going to rest until we are back on top. That is why I came to Northwest. We want to consistently play for a national championship.”
Chevalier understands the importance of these spring drills and the weight room lifting during the hot summer in Maryville.
“It is very important. I think the MIAA is so tight,” he said. “It is not like it used to be with two or three teams on top. There are so many teams in the mix. It is really tight. Every day counts. There is no more one school has all the great athletes. The recruiting is spread out.
“This is a vital time.”
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
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