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Kade Kobel and Drew Webster both knew they had to get North Montgomery football back on track, but knew they couldn’t do it alone.
The duo knew they had to be key pieces, but both realized it would take a team effort to put a winning Charger team back on the field.
“Main goal I had was to win county, and leave everything out on the field,” Webster said. “And I knew if we did that with the group of people we had and the bond we had as a team that we were going to have a winning season by the end of it.”
Kobel and Webster led the Chargers on both sides of the field, and to their first county title and winning season since 2015, en route to earning 2019 Journal Review Football Co-Player of the Year honors.
“People on the team started to understand that they don’t get all the glory,” Webster added. “They just have to do their job, and as long as they do that we will come out on top by the end of the game.”
North Montgomery coach Josh Thompson saw Kobel and Webster continue to get better throughout their careers that led to the pair of seniors excelling this fall.
“Both Kade and Drew have seen plenty of time on the field during their four years and both became important two way players for us,” he said. “As players gain experience it becomes easier to play both ways because they learn how to manage a game and understand the overall concepts and not just their assignments.”
Statistically Kobel and Webster were near the top in every category for the Chargers from their positions — Kobel at receiver and defensive back, and Webster on both sides of the line.
Kobel caught 40 passes for 434 yards and five touchdowns, while added 185 rushing yards and three more scores. He added 46 tackles on defense. Webster had 62 tackles, 12 for a loss, and four sacks.
Kobel saw his biggest jump on the offensive side of the ball.
“Offensively, coach Bucher, he always wanted to praise people to make a guy miss, and get a few extra yards,” Kobel said. “I think I helped do that a little more than last year. And stalk blocking was also a main focus.”
Led by Kobel’s speed, and Webster’s blocking, the Chargers produced more than 3,300 yards of offense on their way to an 6-5 record.
For Webster’s success, it was about buying in to the team aspect.
“Basically I saw it as I had to do a better job of doing my job, and not always the one trying to make the tackle,” he said. “I knew they weren’t always going to run through the hole that I was going to, and I just had to have in the back of my mind that I wasn’t always going to make the tackle. Sometimes I had to force it back inside and rely on other people to do their job,” “I felt like I did a better job of being a team player this year.”
Thompson watched Webster’s dominance on defense help lead the Chargers to a 20 point per game average.
“Drew’s dominance on defense helped our team because he would draw double teams or force the ball carrier to change his path which would allow other players the chance to make plays,” he said.
For Kobel, overcoming a lingering leg injury suffered during track and field season last spring was the first hurdle toward to success.
“I had to keep going to every football practice even though I couldn’t really do much,” he said. “It was a lot of mental reps and knowing each play, and what to do. Going in with Hook (North Montgomery athletic trainer, Isaac Hook) almost everyday to get better.”
Standing out this fall more than anything else for the duo was the ability by both to play the entire game without coming off the field.
“You have to know how to condition yourself, and manage yourself and control your body,” Webster said. “Coach Crum was really key on this and he told me ‘you’re not going to be coming off the field a whole lot, you’ve gotta know when the time is right to go the extra limit and when to still get your job done.”
Thompson feels like both Kobel and Webster emerged on and off the field as leaders, because of their success in other sports.
“Both Kade and Drew became leaders for our team through their hard work and the examples they set,” he said. “They started the process as underclassmen by having two of the better attendance rates for off season workouts and by having success in other sports. We encourage our players to participate in multiple sports because the experience will only help and these two are a great example. Both have had to perform in big situations in other sports to help their team.”
While their high school football careers are over — Kobel and Webster both have their eyes set on state championship meets in other sports during their senior campaigns — Webster to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the wrestling state finals, and Kobel to Indiana University for the track and field state finals — both places the Charger standout athletes have been before.
2019 Journal Review All-Area Football Team
OL — Nate Schroeter — CHS
OL — Moose Miller — NM
OL — Alex Garver — SM
TE — Alex Hernandez — CHS
TE — Keifer Carmean — NM
WR — Kade Kobel — NM
WR — Kai Warren — NM
RB — Zach Waldon — NM
RB — Cameron Giles — SM
RB — Dillan Lauy — SM
QB — Jaron Bradford — NM
Jesse Hortin — CHS
Cale McCarty — CHS
Ethan Powell — CHS
Manson Simmons — CHS
Jacob Braun — NM
Ben Lovold — NM
Drew Webster — NM
Zak Searle — NM
Carson Chadd — SM
Ty Welliever — SM
Riley Woodall — SM
Carson Scott — CHS
Eric Medley — FC
Evan Lowe — SM
The player of the year award and all-area team was selected by a combination of coaches and Journal Review staff.