Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rheam of Talent Canon-Mcmillan's Senior Quarterback Proving His Critics Wrong

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rheam of Talent Canon-Mcmillan's Senior Quarterback Proving His Critics Wrong

Article excerpt

Perhaps he doesn't throw the prettiest pass or have the look of a prototypical quarterback, but Canon-McMillan senior Doug Rheam embodies just about every other quality and intangible necessary to lead a football team to success.

The Big Macs are relying heavily on Rheam this season as they drop in classification to Class AAA, which many think makes them serious contenders for conference and WPIAL championships.

Rheam must not only duplicate his sterling performance from 2003, when he became a full-time starting quarterback, he has to be even better to elevate Canon-McMillan and enhance its chances of qualifying for the playoffs out of the Big Seven Conference and establishing it as an elite team in the classification.

"We have a lot back from last year," Rheam said. "We've had more time together with coach [Guy] Montecalvo and our staff and I think we have made progress.

"We definitely lost some good senior leadership from last year's team but we should benefit from having 25 seniors, who we hope will step it up and show leadership."

Rheam showed his leadership abilities throughout last season when he helped the Big Macs to an 8-2 overall record, a school-record seven consecutive wins to open the season, a second-place finish in the Quad West Conference and an admirable performance against talented Penn Hills in the opening round of the playoffs, which resulted in a 35-27 defeat.

Before last season, many considered Rheam a good running quarterback who had trouble throwing the ball accurately. Rheam refuted that theory.

"When we came in as a staff in July 2003, we were told Doug just couldn't throw the ball," Montecalvo said. "He proved that wrong. He makes really good decisions and is quite adept at picking the open receiver. He can come off the primary target and throw the ball to the open man."

Although Rheam made tremendous strides throwing last season, Montecalvo must constantly drill him on his mechanics. Rheam has a couple of bad throwing habits that he reverts to from time to time.

Montecalvo said Rheam is so introspective and diligent about his work, however, that he overcomes those problems rather quickly. …

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