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

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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>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.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Bill Shirley  |  For The Valley News Dispatch</em></div>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.

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Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

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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