Friday, September 03, 1999

CovCath QB already looking forward to Highlands

Enquirer contributor

        Brett Dietz's high school football career almost didn't start, but his Covington Catholic teammates are glad it did.

        After two games, the senior quarterback has completed 36 of 52 passes (69.2 percent) for 552 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Colonels, ranked second in the state in Class AAA, to a 2-0 record.

        The way Dietz is going, he could exceed his 1998 total of 1,642 yards and 10 TDs by the time CovCath meets archrival Highlands on Oct.2 at Park Hills. The second-year starter's 337 passing yards in last Friday's 38-13 victory over Boone County were a single-game school record, surpassing Paul Hladon's 304 in the Colonels' 1988 AAA state-title win over Paducah Tilghman.

        And to think Dietz almost didn't make it onto the football field six years ago.

        “I always wanted to play football, but my dad never let me,” Dietz said.

        Dietz had played baseball since he was 4 years old. It took a conversation between his father, Mike, and John Wischer, a coach with the Fort Mitchell Spartans youth football team, to get Brett into shoulder pads.

        Dietz was into other sports much sooner.

        His mother, Donna, remembers Brett at 10 months, catching balls before he could walk. And at age 3, building tennis courts out of sand while other children created castles.

        By the time Dietz was 11 and a member of the Spartans, it was evident he could play football. He picked off seven interceptions as a seventh-grader in 1994, then switched to quarterback the following season.

        At CovCath this year, Dietz has spread the wealth. Three different receivers — seniors Adam Burke, Chris Ryan and Tom Beck — have caught touchdown passes. Burke, Ryan, Beck and senior Mike Applegate each had at least three catches and 53 yards receiving against Boone County.

        “His (short) passes are hard, on target,” Ryan said. “When he has to put air under it, it's easy to catch.”

        CovCath coach Lynn Ray said Dietz is also making better decisions in the pocket.

        “He reads defenses better,” Ray said. “He's improved his footwork. He knows when to throw and when not to throw.”

        Dietz said a year's experience has helped him.

        “I'm much more confident with my offensive line, and more comfortable with my receivers,” he said.. “I understand the defenses more and where the open holes are.”

        Dietz was just as good as a third baseman/pitcher for the baseball team last season: He hit .388 with eight home runs, and his 49 RBI were the third-highest total in school history. On the mound, he was 6-1 with a 2.53 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 55 innings.

        “He was very consistent,” CovCath baseball coach Bill Krumpelbeck said. “He did not strike out very often, so we could count on him to hit with runners on base.”

        Dietz thinks his college future lies with football, though he might change his mind after baseball season next spring.

        But his goal for now is to help the football team redeem itself against Highlands, which beat CovCath 70-26 and 37-14 last year.

        “We look forward to playing them,” Dietz said, “and showing them what we have.”

Week 2 Report

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High school football schedule
Hawkins' resume: receiver, long snapper, mom
Healthy Reisert ready to shoulder load for Moeller
Sycamore rolling up the points
- CovCath QB already looking foweard to Highlands
Ryle steps up in to big-time