Lukas Rohrbacher is Right in the Middle of Fort Wayne Snider's Success

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The gridiron is not the only place Lukas Rohrbacher has created havoc for his opponents.

He has also proven that he has some pretty good moves on the lacrosse field as well.

"I think that playing lacrosse has helped me in a lot of ways with football," explained Rohrbacher. "For one, it helps me stay competitive in the off-season, and it also helped increase my cardio a lot and improved my footwork."

After racking up 92 tackles a year ago to help Fort Wayne Snider earn a share of the Summit Athletic Conference crown, the 6-foot, 200-pound junior middle linebacker now has his sights set on an even bigger prize.

He would love to help the Panthers claim the program's first sectional crown since 2018 and hopefully beyond that.

"The quarterback for the 2015 (Class 5A) state championship team, Isaac Stiebeling, lived a couple houses down from me," Rohrbacher recalled. "I remember him talking about the team and the connection he had with his guys and that really inspired me. I would go and watch him play every Friday night.

"Now that I am a part of the team, I truly understand what he was talking about and I think that's why we are so successful. It's because we all share a strong bond for each other."

So far this season, in addition to recording a team-best 73 tackles with four for loss, he also has four quarterback sacks and an interception.

"Lukas is a very athletic and physically strong young man that has developed into a very good linebacker for us," said Fort Wayne Snider coach Kurt Tippmann. "His athleticism allows us to do a lot with him in coverage and in blitz schemes."

Since he began playing football for his grandpa in the second grade, Rohrbacher has seen his love of the game steadily grow.

"I would say that my biggest influence in my football development has been working hard in the weight room to increase the strength and speed that I can play the game with now," Rohrbacher said. "I've also done a good job of paying attention in practice and just trying to learn as much as I can from my coaches.

"I think that a lot of our success this year is due to our coaches. They have done everything they can to put us in the right position to make the big plays. In addition, I think that the defense as a whole has just stepped up their game and worked hard in practices so we can play at the level we need to on Friday nights.

One of those coaches who has had a big influence on him has been Tippmann.

"The one thing that stands out about KT to me is that he cares about everyone equally he doesn't pick favorites, he treats us all the same," Rohrbacher said. "I found that playing for a guy you like and care about has motivated me a lot because I don't want to let him down when we're on the field playing.

The feeling is mutual for Snider's longtime field boss.

"Lukas is a throwback kind of player in that he loves the contact part of football and plays with great emotion on Friday nights," Tippmann added. "He is the 'toughness' leader of our defense."

Over the course of the regular season, Rohrbacher and his fellow defenders have posted four shutouts and allowed six of their nine opponents to seven or fewer points.

"I feel confident in my guys," Rohrbacher said of his teammates. "I think we all understand what we can do, but also what we need to do if we want go on a long run. A lot of guys have really stepped up their game this year and are taking on important roles."

Although he still has another year left to play with the Panthers, Rohrbacher is also looking forward to the future as well.

"My goal is to play collegiate football because it has always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and I started playing the sport," Rohrbacher said."I just want to continue to excel my game and take my career as far as I can."

The first test for top-ranked Fort Wayne Snider (8-1) takes place on October 28 when they travel to No. 10 Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (6-3) for the Class 5A Sectional 12 semifinals.

Although the Panthers won the earlier meeting, 28-0, on October 7, there is more on the line this time around.

"It would mean a lot to get that (sectional) trophy again because it's been too long since we've won one," Rohrbacher said. "But this team isn't just trying to win another sectional. We have our sights set on bigger things and we are looking to get a ring at the end of this."

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