Kittanning's Bowers back at full strength after missing most of 2012 season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Nick Bowers was on his way to being one of last season's stars for Kittanning before an injury cut his sophomore season short.
But now that Bowers healthy again, the junior wide receiver and middle linebacker hopes to pick up where he left off.
Bowers was one of the Wildcats' leading tacklers and the second-leading receiver by yardage among Armstrong County players with 269 yards when a concussion ended his season in the team's fourth game last year against Summit Academy.
The junior playmaker is fully recovered, and last Saturday's scrimmage against West Shamokin was his first chance to go live against another football team in 11 months.
“I didn't even get to play half of the season last year, so it feels good to be back,” Bowers said. “I felt good in the (first) scrimmage. I knew everything I needed to when I came back, and I was ready to go.”
Kittanning coach Frank Fabian was happy to see his junior star in midseason form during that first scrimmage, as Bowers was back to his dominant self on the defensive side. The junior also caught a touchdown pass to show that all aspects of his game are ready to go.
“He probably was our best two-way player before he got hurt last year, and he was coming off a great game against Greensburg Central Catholic, who has got some big boys,” Fabian said. “It was a big loss on both sides of the football, so we're real happy to see him back.”
What makes Bowers a special player, according to his coach, is his all-around athleticism. Though he is nearly 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, he can run as well as the team's smaller players and has great leaping ability that he also shows when he's on the basketball court.
“So often you get those big guys that don't run as well, but he has all the tools,” Fabian said. “No. 1, he's big, but he's physical, and he can run. He's what we call an eraser on defense. Sometimes you get caught in the wrong look or the wrong call, and he bails you out just by making a play.”
Bowers said he has felt 100 percent since the beginning of summer and has no lingering effects of his injury.
His coach said that early in the team's workouts, Bowers needed some extra recovery time as he returned to game shape, but now he's back to the level he was last season.
Bowers will need to be in top shape as he takes on a much larger role this season. The Wildcats are replacing their top passer, rusher and top two receivers from last season, but the thought of being a focal point of the offense and a defensive standout doesn't faze Bowers.
“My goals are the team goals — one win at a time,” Bowers said. “I think I'm ready to take on that (leadership) role. I've got one more year after this one, and I played last year, so I think I'm ready. I want to be that go-to guy, every time.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Trib high school rankings for Sunday, Sept. 21
- Carlynton players carry on under new coach
- High school roundup: No. 9 North Allegheny takes down Upper St. Clair
- High school roundup: Jeannette rolls to victory; Hempfield standout commits to IPFW
- Seniors lead North Catholic past Brentwood
- No. 5 Highlands uses turnovers to beat No. 7 Kittanning
- Brown’s 7 TDs power Apollo-Ridge past Shady Side Academy
- Schoolboy pick of the week: BVA
- Clairton allows 2 scores but still sprints past Springdale
- Monessen averts upset bid with 28-6 victory over Leechburg
- Penn Hills runs past Mt. Lebanon defense