Schermann & Co. give 'Hawks a local flavor

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Colin Schermann

Southeast has four area players who are No. 1 on the depth chart.

Colin Schermann was not surprised by his impressive rookie season for Southeast Missouri State last year.

But the Cape Girardeau Central High School graduate admitted that thinking he would be the first-team all-Ohio Valley Conference place-kicker seemed a bit far-fetched.

"It was definitely an honor. I never thought I'd get it, because there was such good competition," Schermann said.

Now the challenge for Schermann is to build on his stellar redshirt freshman campaign that featured him making 12 of 14 field-goal attempts and ended with him being voted the OVC's top kicker by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

"I hope to do well again, but I just want to help out the team however I can, no matter how many field goals that means," said Schermann, a sophomore who is one of several local products slated for feature roles with the Redhawks.

Others from the Southeast Missourian's coverage area who started last year and are listed first on the current depth chart are junior cornerback Monroe Hicks from Central, senior linebacker Seth Harrell from Jackson and junior offensive tackle Zach Leible from Perryville.

Two more Jackson products, senior tight end Seth McDowell and sophomore offensive guard Matt James, also figure to see their share of playing time.

"Pretty much everybody from right around here will play a lot," Harrell said. "I think it's good for the community."

The locals were certainly good for the Redhawks last year -- even though Southeast struggled to a 2-9 record -- with Schermann heading the list.

Schermann knew he had big shoes to fill in replacing four-year standout kicker Derek Kutz, another area product from St. Vincent in Perryville. But he didn't appear flustered.

"Those were tough shoes to fill," Schermann said. "But I really had high hopes that I could do the job."

Schermann redshirted behind Kutz in 2004, then was money virtually every time the Redhawks called on him last year.

About the only thing missing from Schermann's debut collegiate campaign was a field goal of any substantial distance, like the ones he used to boom at Central.

Schermann's longest field goal last season was 35 yards. He attempted just one beyond 40 yards and was roughed, so the play was nullified.

"I didn't really have much of a chance at long field goals," said Schermann, who kicked a pair of 51-yarders in high school. "But I've hit them over 50 in high school and practice. I definitely have the leg."

Schermann said he enjoys performing in front of family and friends at Houck Stadium, where he also played all of his home games in high school.

Monroe Hicks

The same goes for Hicks, who also played his first official season with the Redhawks in 2005. He sat out the 2004 campaign under NCAA transfer rules after originally signing with Division II Central Missouri State.

"It's always nice to be playing at home," said Hicks, who spent 2003 at Central Missouri but did not play football. "People know me from this area. This is my stadium."

Hicks made his mark with the Redhawks last season, leading the team with two interceptions and leading the OVC with 11 total passes defended, including nine broken up.

"I thought I did pretty well last year, but I'm not satisfied," Hicks said. "This year I hope we get a lot more wins."

Seth Harrell

So does Harrell, who like the rest of the locals believes good things are in store for the Redhawks under their new coaching staff led by Tony Samuel.

"I really think we're going to turn it around," Harrell said. "This is my senior year and I really want to go out with a good season."

Harrell is glad he made the move back to the area after beginning his college career at the University of Missouri as a walk-on. He was an MU squad member in 2002 but never got into a game, then he redshirted in 2003 because of a knee injury.

Still recovering from the injury, Harrell saw limited action during his first season at Southeast in 2004. But last year he made an impact with 56 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. He is the Redhawks' second-leading returning tackler.

"I couldn't be any happier here," Harrell said. "This is my last go-round and I've tried to work extra hard, to make sure I get the most out of my ability."

Zach Leible

Like Hicks and Harrell, Leible began his college career at another school before returning closer to home. After graduating from Perryville High School, Leible went to Division II Missouri-Rolla, where he redshirted in 2003.

After sitting out the 2004 season at Southeast because of NCAA transfer rules, Leible broke into the starting lineup last year.

"For the first time playing college football, I think I handled it pretty well," Leible said. "It's pretty exciting to be playing at home like this."

McDowell, a reserve since his freshman season, saw his most extensive action last year as he caught the first two passes of his collegiate career.

James is also currently listed as a backup but could wind up challenging for a starting role. He came to Southeast last year but did not meet NCAA eligibility standards so he could not play in games or practice.

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