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Postseason awards roll in for Shoemaker

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The individual awards have continued to roll in for the Northview football team following a school record season in which they posted nine victories.

Perhaps the most impressive haul of awards has come for senior defensive back Brady Shoemaker.

Shoemaker recently was named to the Associated Press' First Team All-State squad, a recognition which fellow senior Michael Landry earned last year at the receiver position.

Even more impressive is the fact that Shoemaker has also been named to the first team by the Indiana Football Coaches' Association and was recognized as first team All-Big State by the Herald Times in Bloomington (Class 4A and 5A). Earning the trifecta of being placed on the first team for all three major awards is one that has never been accomplished by another Northview football player.

While Shoemaker attracted a lot of attention for leading the state in interceptions through the end of the regular season (10 in 10 games), head coach George Gettle believes his value lies beyond just the statistics.

"I think that Brady's (Shoemaker) greatest characteristic is that every play is important to him," noted Gettle. "You can't question his effort level. (Shoemaker) led the team in interceptions, big hits, forced fumbles and blocking downfield."

What coaches love more than anything is a player whose 'motor' is always running high so to speak. Meaning that they are always involved and playing at a high level, a trait that Gettle pointed to in Shoemaker.

"Brady goes out and plays every down like it is his last. If you go out and play like that, good things will happen. It's a trait that I hope our younger players will learn from him," said Gettle.

While intangibles are often the most important to a player's value to a team, statistics are what most often win postseason awards. And Shoemaker certainly posted some eye opening numbers for the Knights this year.

Besides posting 10 interceptions over 11 games this year, Shoemaker also was third on the Knights with 21 catches with three touchdowns. He also completed a pass for a 65 yard touchdown at a key juncture against a tough Vincennes squad on the road. Gettle believes Shoemaker's experience on offense has helped immeasurably in his defensive production.

"I think that playing on offense has really helped him on defense," noted Gettle. "He has great body control, but playing as a wide receiver has helped him read routes better on the defensive side of the ball. He just has a knack for being around the ball. He's a playmaker. He's just fun to watch and coach."

While the notoriety Shoemaker gained by finishing the season second in interceptions to Roncalli's Jason Werner, who played four more games, is invaluable to earning postseason accolades, Gettle also pointed to Shoemaker's growth mentally over the head coach's current three-year tenure at Northview High School.

"(Brady) has obviously improved steadily over the last three years," said Gettle. "Physically, he really took to the offseason workouts and it shows, but I think the biggest improvent is as a team leader. He's never really been a vocal leader, but he leads by example. I feel like he has really opened up as a person this year, he was always smiling during practice and joking with the coaches. He's one of the best kids I've been around."

Shoemaker's onfield exploits has led to a lot of notice from Division III schools in the area. A talented baseball player as well, Shoemaker is interested in playing both sports once he reaches the collegiate level.

"He's being recruited a lot by small colleges. I think that Wabash College is the school that wants him the most. They've got a great program and playing for a smaller school certainly helps Brady's aspirations to play both football and baseball in college," said Gettle.

Shoemaker has shown the ability to succeed at whatever endeavor he applies himself to at the high school level and regardless of what school he attends at the next level, they'll be getting a special athlete and person.

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