Even keel for KO QB

Published Aug 28, 2013 at 6:15 am (Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm)

After a sensational sophomore season in his debut at quarterback, Kobe Phillippi plans a more balanced approach this year as the signal caller for the Keystone Oaks football team.

“You have to be even keel,” Phillippi explained. “From last year, I learned not to get too down on yourself and not get too high. Having an even temperament will help me as well as the team.”

In 2013, Phillippi’s primary objective is to help the Golden Eagles win ball games. They only won two during last year’s nine-game campaign in the Century Conference. And, while Philippi impressed with more than 1,000 yards passing and a dozen touchdowns, he also shouldered his share in the defeats as he tossed six interceptions.

“Everybody, of course, wants to throw for at least 1,000 yards,” said the 17-year-old son of Rusty and Gretchen Phillippi. “Personally, though, I want to throw for less interceptions and have less turnovers. More important are the turnovers.”

Often, says Phillippi, mistakes prove the difference between winning and losing. Hence, “the goal is for the team to do better than last year,” said Phillippi. “Improve,” he stressed.

In the 5-11, 175-pound junior, the Golden Eagles certainly have an improved model.

“Kobe brings poise and confidence to the position and the guys around him are confident in him,” said second-year skipper Matt Taylor. “It wasn’t that he had success last year that matters, it was the way he progressed every game that’s important. He’s more polished and a more confident quarterback this year.”

Touchdowns such as the one he tossed to Corey Sevacko in the last seven seconds to beat McGuffey last year boosted Phillippi’s psyche. And, though Sevacko, who caught 45 passes for 591 yards, has graduated, Phillippi has faith in his receiving corps.

“My strength is getting the ball to my wide receivers and letting them make the big plays,” he stressed.

On the football field is not the only place Phillippi makes big plays. During the winter, he was a standout on the basketball team. That’s not surprising, admits Phillippi, as he says his father excelled in the sport at a small school in the Seven Springs area.

In addition to his parents, Phillippi says that Ted Feitt has been the most influential person in his life. “My pap supports me and is at all of my games,” Phillippi said. “My whole family is important to me. They’re all into sports.”

Phillippi expects to be involved in sports throughout his college career. Currently, Waynesburg is interested in his talents. That, however, could change this fall depending on Phillippi’s numbers.

“I hope to have a big year,” he said. “I’m undecided about any career objectives. I just want to play football in college.”

This week, all Phillippi wants to do is beat Steel Valley at Dormont Stadium. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.

“Take it one at a time,” he said. “We have to treat each game as the same.”

Kobe Phillippi file

Birthdate: July 23, 1996

Age: 17

Parents: Rusty and Gretchen

Sibling: Quinn, 10

School: Keystone Oaks

Year: Junior

Sports: Football, basketball

Activities: National Honor Society

GPA: 3.9

Favorite class: American History. Prefers studying the Industrial Revolution, particularly the steel-making era when captains of industry such as Andrew Carnegie lived.

Least liked class: Science

Best read: The Outsiders

Musical artist: Big Sean. Listens to the hip-hop recording artist from Detroit before every game.

Twitter or Facebook? Twitter. Facebook is too much drama.

Favorite food: Crab legs

Place to visit: Hawaii

Best vacation: Ocean City with my family.

What’s in a name: Yes, Kobe was named after the LA Lakers’ guard. Kobe Bryant was drafted about a month before Phillippi was born.

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