David Rueth is the ultimate two-way player. An outstanding senior linebacker and punt returner for Alter’s unbeaten high school football team, he’s also the starting goalie for the Knights’ unbeaten boys soccer team.
It’s a unique combination that requires Rueth also to excel in time management.
“It makes for a long day, especially when I have games right after practice, but, really, it’s pretty awesome,” said Rueth.
That awesomeness begins with Alter’s top-ranked football team, which takes to 3-0 record to Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North Division rival Carroll (1-2) at 7 p.m. today. And it extends to the Knights’ 5-0-1 soccer team, which is at Centerville (5-2-0) on Saturday night.
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A versatile run stopper in the mold of many other outstanding Alter linebackers, this is the first time Rueth has played both sports in the same season. An accomplished youth soccer player, Rueth also is a regular with the Ohio Galaxies spring program.
Alter soccer coach Bob Ellis huddled with football coach Ed Domsitz about the possibility of Rueth playing for both. Alter soccer players have kicked for the football team previously, but no one had tried that double to this extent.
Rueth, 6 feet 1, 205 pounds, is committed to football first, although he did miss a practice on Tuesday to play a day soccer game at McNicolas. He owns a 4.1 grade-point average and favors attending Indiana University and its business school. His father and two older brothers all played football for Domsitz at Alter.
“David is an amazing athlete,” Domsitz said. “He practices with us and he gets along extremely well with the kids on the soccer team. They were thrilled to have him in the goal. He’s getting the best of both worlds.”
Rueth has a team-high 25 total tackles and returned a punt 69 yards for a score against Fairmont. Senior Ryan Markoff has sufficiently recovered from a preseason leg injury and has resumed his role as the No. 1 quarterback. Another senior, Holden Rushing, leads all Co-Ed running backs with 250 yards on just 15 carries (four scores).
The Knights have overwhelmed Fairmont, Thurgood Marshall and Xenia by a combined 127-30. Alter hosts North rivals Fenwick at Centerville in Week 5 and hosts Chaminade Julienne at Springboro in Week 10. Carroll has lost to Beavercreek and Sidney since opening with a 34-21 win at Stebbins.
Rueth said he didn’t try to recruit any football players to join him at soccer. “That wouldn’t have worked out,” he said. Instead, football teammates form a vocal cheering section at soccer games.
“They joke around a lot but they’re supportive,” Rueth said. “They come to the games and support us so it’s pretty fun.”
• It’s next man up for Marion Local. Flyers coach Tim Goodwin confirmed 6-foot-6, 295-pound junior lineman John Dirksen was to have undergone surgery for two broken foot bones. The injury occurred during the first half of last week’s 17-14 setback to visiting Coldwater.
“That’ll be an adjustment for us,” said Goodwin.
Uncommitted, Dirksen was shooting up the recruiting radar and had already landed offers from Michigan State and Kentucky. Marion Local (2-1) still will be a D-VI force. The Flyers had a streak of four straight small-school state titles snapped in last year’s D-VI state title game. Marion Local is at Minster (2-1) today.
• There are 14 unbeaten area teams, but that will take a guaranteed hit after these Week 4 marquee matchups: Wayne (2-0-1) at Miamisburg (3-0); Fort Recovery (3-0) at Coldwater (3-0); and Bethel (3-0) at Covington (3-0).
Coldwater is on a 26-game win streak and has won four straight D-V state titles. Recovery is the defending D-VII state champ and has mounted a 10-game win streak.
Bethel is the surprise of the Cross County Conference, although the Bees were pushed by winless Dayton Christian last week, 22-15. Covington is led by first-year coach Tyler Cates, who resigned after three seasons at Twin Valley South to succeed Dave Miller.
• The Associated Press state football polls made their debut this week. The first computer rankings will be released on Tuesday. Teams earn first-level points for wins and second-level points for wins earned by a defeated opponent. A sliding scale determines the point value based on division.
There are seven divisions. Each division consists of four regions. The top eight teams in each region — 32 each division — advance to the playoffs.