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Three Bobcats in battle for starting QB spot
August 19, 2013 - Andy Heintz
Three Marshalltown Bobcats are battling for the starting quarterback spot on this year's football team.
The Bobcats don't have a 6-foot-4 gun slinger like Blake Gimbel or Chanse Creekmur. What they do have though are three quality candidates that could help the Bobcats become more a running team.
Here are the three candidates vying to become the Bobcats' next signal caller.
Dylan Diveney -- senior
Diveney moved into the community during the fourth quarter of the previous school year. He started in centerfield and was one of the better Bobcat pitchers on the baseball team and provides the Bobcats football roster with lots of speed.
Diveney was a third team all-state selection at wide receiver for Class 3A Clarke last season. If he does not win the QB job, then receiver is definitely where he will end up. However. the quarterback position is wide open and Diveney has just as good of a shot as the other two.
"As it stands right now, Diveney looks comfortable in the run portion of the offense," MHS head coach Aaron Shipley said. "He looks better every day with the passing part of it but he still needs some work there."
Shipley describes Diveney as a tall, lanky athlete with an exceptional burst. He can flat out run, according to Shipley. The first-year Bobcat coach compared his speed to that of last year's top receiver Tad Steffensen, saying Diveney has a long stride but is still quick in space.
"When he strides out and runs, there are few guys that can run as fast as him," Shipley said. "He is easily our fastest guy by about 10 feet. What we want to do as a staff is find ways to get him the ball. We want the ball in his hands."
Austin Sowers -- senior
Sowers is not going to run away from defenders in the open field, but will make one or two guys miss and that can give the Bobcats a chance to make plays. Shipley says Sowers has a lot of jitter and it is difficult for the first guy to bring him down because he is slippery.
Right now, Sowers may have an edge in the understanding of the offense.
"He has an understanding of the offense, but the other two guys are coming along," Shipley said. "This offense is unlike any other. You can't just step in and get it. It takes repetitions and the longer you run the plays, the better you will get."
Austin Kluver -- junior
While Diveney and Sowers will try to use their speed to make guys miss, Kluver will be the one who will lower his shoulder and try to run through tacklers.
"He is more of a bigger, stronger, physical type of player," Shipley said. "He will make one guy and then he is going to try to get the extra yard by running you over. That will be really good for our offense because often times we are seen as a finesse team. He will lower his shoulder and run over you. He has a strong lower body."
Shipley admitted that whoever wins the job will be the Bobcats guy at quarterback, but the other two guys will get plenty of playing time, most likely at wide receiver. All three have taken first-team reps at quarterback and first-team reps at receiver.
The competition should be good for all three guys. It usually brings out the best in everyone. Should be an interesting race.
Check back later to see who ends up taking over the reigns left by record-setting signal caller Gimbel.
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