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Holy Cow-an!

October 2, 2010
By Luke Martin of Columbus East High School

    No need to tell young freshman quarterback Alex Cowan about the history of Columbus East Football, as Cowan's been an Olympian fan for as long as he can remember.
    "I have been an East fan for as long as I can remember," Cowan said. "The history the program has is remarkable, and I have always enjoyed watching East play over the years."
    No doubt watching the likes of Stevie Brown, Drew Kiel, Nick Olds, and many others appeal towards the Olympians, but why wouldn't a young player, especially a quarterback, be intrigued about the Columbus East Olympians, a team that runs the pass-spread offense? It is an offense that many call a ”quarterbacks dream ", and it has produced two, soon to be three, division one quarterbacks since Gaddis installed the offense back in 2005.
    Of course, those three quarterbacks are current Olympian signal caller Gunner Kiel, his older brother Dusty, and older brother Drew. All of them had successful high school careers, and all of them brought nothing but championships to Columbus East.
    Though, the Kiel era will be gone after 2012, when Gunner graduates from Columbus East. Then what happens for Columbus East Football?
    That is the question many people are asking, and many are wondering if the O's can still win the HHC, let alone winning a sectional championship.
    The answer to that question is found in the 2014 class, more particular in Alex Cowan.
    The freshman football team is off to a great start, as they sit at 6-0, including a victory over arch rival Columbus North, a game that is the highlight of the season for Cowan.

It was late in the game and  it looked like the Bull Dogs were about to pull out the win, except Cowan pulled a Lee Corso “Not so fast my friend!” on the Bull Dogs, as he hit wide receiver Sean Owens for the game winning touchdown with less than a minute to go.
    "No question that is the best memory I have so far," Cowan said. "Though, that will hopefully not be the last."
    Cowan will have the pleasure of filling the shoes of Gunner Kiel, a role which would be tough for anyone to fill.
    Except Cowan isn't approaching the task as something many people would.
    "I can't replace Gunner," Cowan said. "No one can be a Gunner Kiel, and If I try to be Gunner then it won't work out. I will just have to be myself."
    Being himself is defiantly going to be a key for this young quarterback, but he understands that it isn't all about the quarterback position.
    "Anyone who thinks a team can win with just one player is crazy. It takes all 11 guys on offense and defense out on the field to do their job, and that is the way it will always be. Football is a team sport, not individual."
    Having everyone out on the field working together towards perfection is always a key, and that is something Cowan believes makes this freshman class special.
    "We all work well together, and we all love going out and playing football. We just go out and have fun playing the game we love.”
    Having fun is something the O's have done so far this year, clobbering every opponent in the Hoosier Hills Conference, and winning on a last second touchdown against the Bull Dogs.
    Even with a perfect record, Cowan knows that his team has a lot to work on.
    "We are far from perfect, even though we have a perfect record," Cowan said. "We have a tough game coming up against East Central on Monday, and that game will be great competition for our team."
    As for Cowan himself, he knows about all the negativity about the future of the program. He knows that not very many people are high on the young future prospects, but that does nothing but add fuel to the fire for this young quarterback.
    "We hear all the talk but I've heard Coach Gaddis always say 'talk is cheap'. We will look forward to the challenge of continuing the great tradition at Columbus East."
    Cowan understands the great tradition at Columbus East, and he understands that it won't be easy to maintain that great tradition.
    "Nothing is given to you in this world," Cowan said. "You have to go out and earn everything you get, and that is what Columbus East has done so well over the years. We will have to earn everything we get, and I look forward to it."
    Many do not remember that Cowan had to fill the void of Gunner Kiel before, as it was at Central Middle School. Kiel just left Central when Cowan entered as a seventh grader.
    Cowan stepped into the role at Central with ease, as he never lost a game at Central, but it was an offensive system that isn't near to what East runs currently, which made the transition from 7th-8th grade Football to freshman football easy for Cowan.
    "We ran the power-I, and other running formations a lot in middle school, whereas we run the spread (at East). I love being able to make more decisions, and being able to spread the field. It is a fun offense to run."
    With the transition from 7th-8th grade football to freshman football being easy, Cowan knows it won't be near as easy of a transition to varsity football, especially now with East being in 5A.
    East has to go through arch rival Columbus North twice, Both Bloomington Schools, Martinsville, Decatur Central, Whiteland, and Center Grove just in sectional play.
    Cowan knows that the talent and competition level will be higher once he steps out onto Stafford Field as a varsity starting quarterback, but he is looking forward to the step up in competition.
    "I want to go up against the best teams in the state of Indiana, because we want to win a state championship. In order to do that, we have to beat the best teams in the state of Indiana anyways, so why be scared of the increase in competition?"
    That is the mental toughness that Cowan has, which is one of the many things that has this young broadcaster high on this talented quarterback.
    It is going to be a challenge for young Cowan in trying to lead East to bigger a better things after 2012, but he has all the tools to be the next division one quarterback to come out of the Bob Gaddis system.
    No doubt he isn't a Gunner Kiel, or a Dusty Kiel, or even a Drew Kiel, but Alex Cowan is Alex Cowan.
    If no one has seen this young quarterback play, come out to Stafford Field Monday night when this young freshman team will look to improve to 7-0, as Cowan will look to continue on becoming the next great quarterback of the Olympians, when East takes on East Central.
    If Cowan’s abilities as a quarterback are like him as a person, Columbus East Football isn't about to die…it is about to prosper into bigger and better things.


Luke Martin is a senior at Columbus East High School and would like to be reached for comments on his coverage. He can be reached at lukemartin@thelukemartinshow.com

For the best coverage of Columbus East Football, go to www.thelukemartinshow.com

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