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Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Leechburg's Alex Kalmar

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Leechburg's Alex Kalmar runs behind his blocks against the Riverview defense Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, at the Leechburg Veterans Memorial Field in Leechburg.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Leechburg's Alex Kalmar comes out of the pile as he breaks tackles of the Riverview defense at Leechburg Veterans Memorial Field on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013.

As the son of a car dealership owner, Alex Kalmar knows the basics of selling the driving experience.

On Friday nights this fall, Kalmar has provided opposing defenders rides, free of charge.

A sturdy 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior running back and linebacker, Kalmar and fellow senior Kris Smith are two reasons why Leechburg (2-5, 2-4), which last qualified for the postseason in 1988, remains in this year's Eastern Conference playoff hunt.

In last week's key 31-22 win over Riverview, Kalmar gained 171 yards and scored twice on 31 carries, while Smith, who also had two touchdowns, picked up 170 yards on 23 carries.

During a 35-14 win over Northgate in Week 6, Kalmar rushed for a team-high 93 yards and two touchdowns.

Leechburg last won back-to-back games in 2010.

Q: What's it like to have this winning streak going?

A: It feels great. It started off bad, but it feels good to finally get the team moving.

Q: What were you expecting from yourself this season?

A: I really just wanted to run hard for the team. I knew Kris, our other starting running back, would have a good year. I'm happy that we're both starting to get a lot of yards.

Q: What is the relationship like between you and Smith?

A: We always have competitions to see who can get more yards and who can score more touchdowns, but it's a lot of fun.

Q: How would you compare your running styles?

A: I think we're the exact same. We both run downhill. We're not really the flashy, juking players. We just run straight forward.

Q: What's your on-field personality like?

A: I'm actually not one of those mean guys. I try to stay on the other team's good side. I mean, I play hard, and I'm aggressive. But I'm not one of those trash-talking guys.

Q: What are the perks of having a car dealership in the family? Do you get to take cool cars for a spin?

A: No, none of that. But it's nice. You can get your car cleaned, no problem.

Q: Are you going to get into the family business?

A: No, I don't think my mom would let that happen.

Q: What's one thing most people don't know about you?

A: My grandpap is Don Olshansky, who won a couple WPIAL championships at Leechburg (as an assistant). He was the football coach (in the late 1960s and early '70s), which is probably why I love football so much.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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