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GCL SPOTLIGHT

Sollmann's goal: State crown

Friday, Aug. 27, 1999

BY CAREY HOFFMANN
Enquirer contributor

        St. Xavier coach Steve Rasso says if there's a characteristic that sets Steve Sollmann apart from other football players, it's his competitiveness. That said, could there be a more meaningful event to set the stage for Sollmann's senior year than getting to the state Division I title game last fall, then coming home without the title?

        The response from the low-key Sollmann is quiet, but a fire is definitely smoldering.

        ''I think winning a state championship has to be a goal for this team,'' St. X's star tailback said. ''To get a taste of it and then have to walk away disappointed . . . it has to be a big goal.''

        In fact, it might be the one achievement left that would hold much significance for Sollmann. He is St. Xavier's career and single-season rushing champ, having set the latter mark with a 1,592-yard season last year that was punctuated by a school-record 316-yard game in the second round of the playoffs against unbeaten Colerain.

        He's a rare four-year varsity player in football, basketball and baseball. He is a major college prospect in both football and baseball and is getting looks from schools like Stanford and Notre Dame.

        And along with older brother Scott, a 1992 graduate, the Sollmanns share the distinction of having been the starting tailbacks on the only two St. X teams to reach the state title game.

        ''Maybe this year, it would only be fitting if we win the whole thing,'' Sollmann said. ''With all the talent that has gone through St. X, the program deserves a state championship.''