New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva junior Alex Buckmeier has played many roles for the Panthers. He has started on both sides of the ball since his freshman year. At one time or another, he played every offensive and defensive line position except center.…
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva junior Alex Buckmeier has played many roles for the Panthers. He has started on both sides of the ball since his freshman year. At one time or another, he played every offensive and defensive line position except center. For most of this past season, he was playing a role in which he was not familiar. After an early-season injury, he spent most of the regular season not playing but watching from the sidelines.
“In the first quarter of the second game I dislocated my ankle,” Buckmeier said. “I was out for all but the last regular season game and the two playoff games.”
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back in games at all, but I did my therapy, kept my cast on and in five or six weeks I got cleared to play.”
His first game back, Buckmeier’s coaches were more cautious with him than the player himself.
“They sprinkled me in here and there to get me used to it again, but I was basically back full bore. It felt good. There was that thought in the back of my head that ‘my ankle was just sideways not too long ago,’ but I was able to work through it when I was on the field.”
Without their three-year starter, the Panthers still advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
“Our defense was solid,” Buckmeier said. “Ever since I started playing on the varsity we have had a solid defense. That continued through the year. We had people step up all season.”
Starting since his freshman year – when he could be on the field – he mainly played defensive tackle and offensive guard.
“Defensively I am good at reading the play and blocks,” NFN’s 212th ranked player in the class of 2019 said. “I am good at shedding blocks as well. Offensively I know what everybody is supposed to be doing on each play. I can help my teammates if they need help on a play.”
Because of his ankle, Buckmeier decided not to wrestle for the first time in three years. He focused on continuing to rehab the ankle and do what he could to improve his football skills and get ready for the track season.
“I lifted three times a week and either twice or three times a week I would do therapy on my ankle.”
By the spring sports’ season, his ankle was 100 percent.
“I had a pretty successful track season,” the 5’11” 235-pound soon to be senior said. “I made it to Sections in both the shot put and discus.”
This summer Buckmeier is continuing with the workout program and will be adding in a handful of football camps.
“I will be going to Southwest Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Grand View and at least one more.”
Along with the camps and the obvious benefit of exposure, Buckmeier also is focused on improving his work in close with opposing linemen.
“I am working on my get off and getting my hands on guys right away,” Buckmeier said. “I will continue to improve my ability to read offenses.
Buckmeier is primarily being looked at by Division III schools.
“I have gone on visits to Gustavus and Hamline. I was at the Mankato State and Southwest Minnesota State junior days.”
A healthy senior season will not only expand the number of schools that will be interested in Buckmeier in another new position – college football player.