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Falcons’ Delilah Rahe set for fall filled with soccer and football

Falcons’ Delilah Rahe set for fall filled with soccer and football


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


This fall will be a busy one for Delilah Rahe.

She will spend her Tuesday and Thursday nights on the pitch playing futbol.

On Fridays, she will be on the gridiron playing football.

The 6-foot Field junior has committed to being a dual-sport athlete for the Falcons this fall.

Following a sophomore soccer campaign that earned her First Team All-Metro Athletic Conference as a left midfielder, she returns to Jason Schindler’s program as one of the most electric players in Portage County and the Falcons’ second-leading scorer.

A brilliant combination of speed, physicality, footskills and attitude accented by an unprecedented work ethic.

As a football player, her early summer reps have come as a wide receiver on offense and as an outside linebacker on defense.

For those surprised that Rahe is seriously pursuing football, don’t be.

It is an idea that has actually been on her mind for a couple of years.

“Honestly, I wanted to play football my freshman year, but coming in for my first year of high school, I thought that it might be a lot to take on with soccer,” Rahe said. “It probably would have been a little too much, but I have always liked the game, and I have always been around the game.

“Now, I am going for it. I know I will have to work hard, but I am not afraid of that,” Rahe added. “I will put all of my heart into it. I think a girl can do anything that anyone else can and should play whatever sports they want to play no matter what anyone thinks.”

The thoughts of one coach, an important one and a veteran one, has returned nothing but positive reviews to this point.

“First of all, not one person on our team or coaching staff has blinked an eye that Delilah is playing football,” said Field football head coach Matt Furino, who is in his 19th year. “Not one person and not once. They have supported her from the first day and they respect her. They always have.

“Her work ethic is one of the best I have ever seen since I have been coaching.”

It is that work ethic that initially opened Furino’s eyes that having Rahe, who was also First Team All-MAC during the girls basketball season, on the football team could be a reality.

In the fitness and wellness class of James Dutched, who is an assistant football coach for the Falcons, Rahe’s lifting outputs consistently finished ahead of many of her peers — girls and boys.

“Coach ‘Dutch’ would post all of the stats and Delilah’s name was always up there,” Furino said. “She is strong and she works hard at it. She takes it seriously. She had mentioned playing football to me before, so I went up to ask her if she was really serious about it. She said she was serious, and I was all for it.”

Furino did have just one stipulation, though.

“I told her that before went down this road any further, that coach Schindler would need to be OK with it,” Furino said.

Rahe said that Schindler quickly approved the idea and offered his immediate support.

“For me, it was really a simple answer. I believe that players, especially at smaller schools like Field, when they are talented, they need to play whatever sports they want to play,” Schindler said. “Ultimately, you only live once, and I will always completely support my kids.

“Delilah has a passion for sports and it is hard to find true passion in kids,” Schindler added, “and one of the things that I love the most about Delilah as a player is that she works hard. She is always giving her all. You will never get a partial effort from her. I told her that we will monitor her health and fitness throughout the season to keep her in a good place, but I am super proud of her to go after this. If there is someone that can do it, I truly believe it can be Delilah.”

On the gridiron, Furino has already noticed an above-average intelligence, understanding and an instinct that he considers uncommon for most of players — let alone a player that has never played before.

“As a receiver, she already has grasped what to do against different coverages,” Furino said. “She has great hands, she is fast, she is just a special athlete and special kid. I had her in Honors Algebra 2, and she is the best student I have had in years. You take everything into consideration, great kid, great athlete, great work ethic, great leader, smart, why would I not want her on my team.”

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