Friday, September 03, 1999

Healthy Reisert ready to shoulder load for Moeller




BY DAVE SCHUTTE
Enquirer contributor

[reisert]
After injuring his right shoulder playing pick-up football in Jan., Brian Reisert said he's set to top his 1,595-yard passing season from last year.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        The words from Moeller coach Steve Klonne were explicit.

        “Coach Klonne called me a complete jackass and one of the dumbest persons he's ever known,” Crusader quarterback Brian Reisert said. “He couldn't believe what happened.”

        While playing football with friends in January, the 17-year-old Reisert attempted a tackle and suffered a severly bruised shoulder.

        "We were playing without equipment and after I made the tackle, I felt a little pain in the right shoulder,” Reisert said. “It happened on the weekend and it wasn't until Monday that I went to Dr. (Timothy) Kremchek to have it examined. He did an MRI and found there wasn't a tear.”

        Six months of intense therapy followed, but it wasn't until June that Reisert successfully threw a football. He tried to in April, but the pain was too much.

        “When Brian started throwing in June, he had no velocity on the ball,” Klonne said. “He also had lost the fluidity in his throwing motion.”

        Over the next 60 days, Reisert's rehabilitation was intensified with Lonnie Solhoff, the same trainer that worked with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Denny Neagle.

        “We followed the advice of the trainer and allowed Brian to throw a prescribed number of passes during practices,” Klonne said. “In June, he was 50-percent recovered, but today he's about 98 percent.”

        Reisert earned the starting quarterback position midway through the third game in the 1998 season. He completed 103 of 171 passes for 1,595 yards last season and, after a 1-2 start, the Crusaders ended at 7-3, but failed to make the playoffs.

        As much as Moeller needed Reisert back this season, Klonne had other reasons to be upset about his quarterback's injury.

        “I was upset because Brian is such a good kid,” Klonne said. “It would have been a crying shame if he couldn't be at his best his senior year.”

        At six-foot-one, 195 pounds, Reisert has the physical tools to play in college. But, according to Klonne, Reisert's strongest traits are leadership, decision making, poise and the knack to move the ball down the field.

        “Brian has that little unspoken thing in a huddle that important to a team,” Klonne said. “He's also great under pressure and, if the college recruiters do their homework, he should play for a MAC-type school next season.”

        A lack of proven receivers could make Reisert's task more difficult this season.

        “We were a little worried about this, but we have some good receivers,” Klonne said. “They may not be as good as last year, but we could sneak up on some people.”

        Reisert declares himself 100 percent recovered, but Klonne will withhold judgement until after Saturday's game against Warren Harding at Galbreath Field.

        “Warren Harding is one of the top two or three teams in the state,” Klonne said. “Saturday night we'll see if Brian is 100 percent. He'll have to be for us to beat them.”

        Reisert wasn't the starting quarterback in 1998 when Warren Harding beat Moeller 42-20 the second game of the season. It could be a different outcome if Reisert is 100 percent.

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