Panther alumni playing for 2016 Enforcers (From left to right: Nate Eickhoff, Chuck Capshaw, Chris Tuck, and Brent Schnaare)
For most football players, their career ends when they graduate from high school. But for six Reitz Football alumni, their love of the sport has given new life to their time on the gridiron.
This season’s Evansville Enforcers, a semi-professional football team, features Chuck Capshaw, Mike Clem, Nate Eickhoff, Zach Harris, Brent Schnaare and Chris Tuck, all graduates of Reitz High School.
ReitzFootball.com had the opportunity to chat with several of these men recently.
Desire to continue playing
Chuck Capshaw, Class of 2006, had previously played semi-pro football for the Ohio River Bearcats. That team, after playing for the semi-pro national championship in 2009, was eventually compelled to change their name due to similarities with the University of Cincinnati.
“Deciding to play for the Enforcers was just like okay we are transitioning into new uniforms,” according to Capshaw. “I was recruited into playing with the Bearcats halfway through their first season (2008) by a former Reitz teammate, Eric Kendall. I’ve been a part of the organization as a player and now as general manager and player, ever since.”
Mike Clem, Class of 2010, said that other former Reitz players had recruited him as well.
Clem said he has a “never ending feeling of the need to play football.”
Zach Harris serves as Assistant Head Coach for the Enforcers
While Zach Harris, Class of 2012, didn’t play, he was involved for years with the Mighty Panthers as the team’s football manager.
“I was nearing the end of my sophomore year at USI…and I had the itch to get back in the game,” said Harris. “I knew about the Enforcers, but I wasn’t sure how to get involved. Markel Snoddy (Reitz Defensive Tackle, Class of 2009) was playing for the team… and he told me that they were looking for new additions to their coaching staff. I’d never coached before, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Two days later, I was given the Assistant Head Coach position. For only being 19 at the time, that’s something I’ve always taken great pride in.”
“My friend, Chris Tuck, who I played football with at Reitz, told me they were in need of some players,” added Nate Eickhoff, Class of 2014. “I still had the itch to play, so I gladly joined.”
Similar goals for each Enforcer
Setting goals are part of every football player’s DNA, and these Panthers-turned-Enforcers are no different.
“There are two goals that I’ve yet to check off the list,” said Harris. “The first one, bring a championship back to Evansville. The second goal somewhat coincides with the former. When I decide it’s time for me to step away from the Enforcers, I want to be able to say I gave the organization everything I could, and that I left it in a much better place than it was when I first started. I’d really like to see the Enforcers become a staple in Evansville.”
“My goal for the Enforcers is to become a leader and to help further the success of the organization,” said Eickhoff.
“Obviously the number one goal for me as a player is to help the team win a championship in our league,” according to Capshaw. “I would also like a chance at redemption in a national championship because we lost that game as the Bearcats. My goals as an administrator of the team are to build the brand in Evansville into a popular summer pastime and give our young players a platform to improve and gain opportunities to reach higher levels of football, collegiate or professional.”
“Obviously every player has the goal of coming home with a championship title,” said Clem, “but as a whole my goals are to do what I can to help my team get there, all while letting out a bit of that built-up aggression.”
Added Clem, who recently lost close to 100 pounds, “the team helps me to stay in shape and active, all while dong what I love.
What the Reitz Nation should know about the Enforcers
“I want Reitz Nation to know that if they have young men that are interested in advancing their football career past high school and they don’t get the full ride athletic scholarship, that there are still opportunities available to them,” said Capshaw. “Players from our level around the country use this level of competition as a springboard into smaller and junior colleges as well as indoor and arena league football or the Canadian football league. Reitz football players have always been a strong group for the Evansville Enforcers and we are always proud to accept another one into our brotherhood.”
Clem’s message was simple. “Come out support our local guys doing what they love.”
While the deadline to try out for this year’s team has passed, there are still plenty of opportunities to see the team play this year.
The Enforcers’ next home game is June 11 at Romain Stadium, kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
“We have great family-friendly entertainment, quality football, at a great price,” added Harris.
Admission is only $8 for ages 13 and up and kids 12 and under get in free.
Stay in touch with the Enforcers
Follow the Evansville Enforcers online:
Note: as of publication, Brent Schnaare and Chris Tuck were unavailable for this article
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