Dec. 6, 2007
Persistence Pays Off for Dohrman, Bearcats
It's been a long road to travel for senior defensive end Caleb Dohrman.
A two-time all-state selection at Sweep Springs (Mo.) High School, Dohrman chose Northwest Missouri State instead of taking offers at Truman or Missouri Western. An older brother who attended Northwest and national championship appearances on ESPN helped the decision.
But the transition to college football was a struggle for Dohrman, who only played seven games in his first three seasons. His freshman season saw him play in three games. He recorded five of his nine tackles that season in a 72-12 victory against Minnesota State-Moorhead.
In 2005 and 2006, Dohrman saw action in four games in which he combined for two tackles.
"It was really frustrating," said Dohrman. "But I said that maybe next year I'll get my chance. My parents and family kept encouraging me to keep playing."
"Throughout practices I felt like I was still helping the team, making the offense better and helping on defense and special teams whenever I could. I made great friendships up here and there's no way I could leave that. Just being on the football team and seeing those guys everyday meant a lot to me and I wouldn't want to leave that for the world."
The continued work and time paid off this season. Dohrman leads the Bearcats this season with six sacks and 13 tackles-for-loss. He's had at least one stop behind the line-of-scrimmage in all but one game this season. He's not listed as a starter, yet his 39 tackles ranks ninth on the team.
"My first sack against Missouri Western was probably the biggest thing," said Dohrman. "It was a fourth- down play and I got a sack in there towards the end of the game. There were so many people there and the atmosphere was crazy."
Dohrman had a season-high two sacks in a tight game at Fort Hays State, and followed that with 1.5 sacks in Northwest's homecoming contest against Washburn. He had a season-high three tackles-for-loss against Chadron last week in the quarterfinal game. All three stops were against 2006 Harlon Hill Award Winner Danny Woodhead.
Saturday's game against Grand Valley State will be a first for Dohrman. He wasn't on the roster for the previous two meetings with the Lakers in the national championship game.
"The last two years I sat in the stands and only wished I could have made a difference in the game, and so now I get a chance," said Dohrman. "I want to get out there and play as hard as we can."
"Playing at Bearcat Stadium is going to be phenomenal Saturday night. I can't wait. I get goose bumps just thinking about it right now. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere of Bearcat Stadium going crazy and taking it all in and playing our hearts out."
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