Oct. 3, 2013
Reimer, Bearcats Focused on Northeastern StateBy David Boyce | Northwest at Northeastern State | Saturday, Oct. 5 | 2 p.m.
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MARYVILLE, Mo. - Anyone traveling with the Northwest Missouri State football team as they head to Tahlequah, Okla., for a game against Northeastern State on Saturday afternoon, should expect to hear plenty of talking from the players.
The Bearcats will talk about their home states, movies, television shows and a multitude of irrelevant things that come up in conversations with college students.
Every once in a while, a player will turn to junior linebacker Eric Reimer and ask for his opinion about something.
Hey, what do you think Reimer?
“He just smiles and doesn’t say anything,” Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said. “It is kind of refreshing to have a guy like that.”
His teammates call him the ‘Silent Assassin.’
When Reimer steps onto the football field, the happy-go-lucky smile turns into a menacing Bearcat growl.
Reimer enters Saturday’s 2 p.m. game at Doc Wadley Stadium as Northwest’s leading tackler with 29. He also has a team-leading two sacks.
His offensive teammates know Reimer is somebody to be reckoned with on the field. In the Green and White scrimmage this fall, Reimer was whistled for a personal foul when he hit running back Justin Fulks out of bounds.
“He is very different on the field,” Dorrel said. “I love his nickname. It is very fitting.” The coaching staff has confidence in Reimer no matter where they put him on the field. They moved Reimer from strong side linebacker to weak side linebacker this season.
It means Reimer has more responsibilities.
“I don’t have as much help from other linebackers,” he said. “I play on an island a little bit. It is a good challenge. I am going to do whatever I can to help the team.”
That is the attitude of the entire defensive unit. Coming into the season, they knew they had a special group that could do some very good things on the field.
But experience alone does not make a unit succeed.
“We wanted to grow on what we had,” Reimer said. “We had a lot of guys returning with experience. It is about being physical. We wanted to get the defense down really well so we can go out and execute and have fun.
“We are absolutely enjoying every moment. We need to keep improving every week. That is the main goal right now.”
The Bearcats are not focusing on records. They enter Saturday’s game 4-0. Northeastern State is 0-4. But the teams the RiverHawks have lost to are a combined 15-1.
“They have been playing good competition,” Reimer said. “Our coaches want us to go out there and focus on ourselves. It is about getting an early start on them and not let them hang around in the game.”
If the Bearcats succeed, they will have much to talk about on the bus trip back home. Dorrel said his team enjoys these road trips.
“We are going to stay in a nice hotel,” Dorrel said. “We have a couple of nice places we are going to eat. For college kids, that’s a big deal.”
It is also a big deal for the Bearcats to keep improving.
Dorrel said they are focusing on special teams and they want to see some longer runs in the running game.
“Offensively, we are going to set a goal on the number of runs over 20 yards,” Dorrel said. “We don’t feel we had a number of those this year. We feel we can have more. It starts up front, but it also has to do with receivers downfield finishing their blocks.”
It is about getting better each week, Reimer said.
“The coaches are really pounding that in our head this year,” he said. “The back end of our schedule is very strong. But you can’t look ahead. Northeastern State is dangerous. We have to take care of business this week and not look ahead.”
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