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Boehm, CB West ready to take on all takers

DOYLESTOWN >> Football and ice skating are not often mentioned in the same breath, but such wild symbolism can be reserved for discussing the best players on the field. 

Central Bucks West’s Eli Boehm, after all, is one of the area’s top running backs.

“(Boehm) has tremendous vision,” said Bucks head coach Rob Rowan. “I kind of like to say he’s a ‘glider.’ Sometimes when he’s running it looks like he’s on ice skates a little bit. I think what will surprise you most about him is he rarely goes down on the first tackler. When you look at him, he’s not an intimidating figure per se, but he runs extremely hard with low pad level.”

CB West went 2-4 in the abbreviated 2020 season, and if the Bucks are to dramatically improve, Boehm will almost certainly be a big reason why. 

Despite his sophomore season being cut to only six games, Boehm does not feel as though his development process was slowed down. He rushed for 549 on 80 carries, but there is always room for growth when making the jump to year three. 

“I feel like it was just a weird high school year, but it was still a good year to get started,” Boehm said. “It was my first varsity year. This year I just feel a little bit more experienced and all-around better.”

“I think really for (Boehm) to take the next step, I think the passing component of our offense is a big thing,” Rowan said. “For him to be a two-dimensional weapon, to be able to run the football but to also be a threat as a receiver, I think that would allow him to fulfill the entire role on the offense.”

“(I) just need to keep training and keep working,” Boehm added. 

Under center for CB West will be sophomore quarterback Ganz Cooper, who has locked down the starting job despite limited experience. He completed 13 of 23 pass attempts for 188 yards and three total touchdowns (one rushing) last season. 

Given Rowan’s optimism regarding Cooper’s development, it’s perhaps best to simply ignore the microscopic sample size. 

“We’re very comfortable (with Cooper),” Rowan said. “He’s made tremendous strides from last year and he’s still a tenth grader. So, there’s still some growing pains there, but he’s a leader and incredibly coachable. He’s our guy.”

“Starting from the head down, (Cooper) has a lot more confidence (than last season),” Rowan continued. “Physically, he’s put on almost 35 pounds and has grown almost three inches. His balls are coming out with more zip. He has more command of the offense this year. We were able to expand the offense because his understanding of it has grown.”

On the other side of the ball, the CB West coaching staff has been tasked with reconstructing a defense that has lost three standout seniors. Depending on one’s perspective, the “glass half empty” types may say that Jackson Spradlin, Tyler Fasti and Jack Fileppo have left crater-sized holes to fill. The optimist may say that their departures have opened up doors for younger players to emerge and seize the moment. Such is the nature of high school football. 

“I think the answer there is ‘development,’” Rowan said. “Are we doing a good enough job throughout the years of developing ninth grades, tenth graders and eleventh graders so that when it’s their time, they’re ready to play football at a high level?”

When the Bucks take the field against Coatesville this Friday, Rowan’s fourth season on the job will commence. In terms of marking what constitutes a “successful” season, he does not speak in labels or specifics. 

“I don’t ever categorize a season as a ‘rebuild’ or anything,” Rowan said. “Our expectations are what they are. At the end of the day, my version and definition of ‘success’ is, ‘Do I take the guys that we have and do we squeeze all the juice out of them and make them the best versions of themselves and be the best team possible?’”

CB West
Friday, Aug. 27 COATESVILLE
Friday, Sept. 3 CB SOUTH
Friday, Sept. 10 ABINGTON
Friday, Sept. 17 CR SOUTH
Friday, Sept. 24 PENNSBURY
Friday, Oct. 1 At Pennridge
Friday, Oct. 8 At Hatboro-Horsham
Friday, Oct. 22 At Neshaminy
Sat, Oct. 30 At CB East, 1 pm

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