Posted by boston.com January 2, 2014 12:28 PM
Kevin Bletzer, who can play most any position on the gridiron, has been a two-time varsity football captain at Catholic Memorial. Kevin Cohee’s talent and leadership have led him to the same honor at Roxbury Latin Academy.
Now, after years of playing for different high schools and against each other in summer passing leagues, the two Kevins from West Roxbury are preparing to suit up together in maroon and gold for the BC Eagles.
Photo courtesy of ESPN
“I look forward to playing football with some of the best people in the country,” Bletzer said. “I’m excited to keep making a name for BC, make a name for myself, and win some games.”
“Football’s always been a dream for me, honestly,” said Cohee. “And I’ve always loved the schools that can recruit really well for their area – I think BC has done a really good job at that.”
Although they have never played together, the two West Roxbury athletes have similar backgrounds, playing a variety of sports from a young age. For Bletzer, it was football, lacrosse and hockey; for Cohee, it was football, basketball and track.
Both Kevins looked at a range of colleges before deciding on BC, largely because of its local connection. Cohee looked at North Carolina State, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Syracuse. He ended up choosing BC because of his comfort level with the school and its coaching staff. He grew up knowing everything about the football program.
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
“One of the main things that made me commit was the new coaching staff,” he said. “They had two wins last year, to seven wins and a bowl game this year. They know what they’re doing.”
His high school coach attests to Cohee’s ability to play at any competitive football school.
“He could play anywhere D-1,” said Patrick Ross, Cohee’s head coach. “But a lot of guys around here choose to stay in the Boston area. They like to have their parents come to the games.”
Bletzer visited football programs at Penn State, UConn, UMass, the University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, and Holy Cross. He even received Division I lacrosse offers from Penn State and UMass Amherst, but declined because his heart was set on football.
“My father . . . played football in college and semi-pro,” Bletzer said. “He loves it. He raised a football player before I even knew I wanted to play.”
Like Cohee, Bletzer felt a connection to BC. His father attended the school, and Bletzer grew up following the Eagles.
“I’ve been going to [BC] football games ever since I can remember,” he said. “It’s the only place I ever really wanted to go. So when they offered, there were no questions.”
At 6-foot-3, Cohee’s got an inch on Bletzer. Their two schools don’t play each other in the regular season, so the Kevins have never met on the football field.
Those who know the Kevins see them meshing well as teammates.“They’re without a doubt going to form a great friendship,” Ross predicted.
Bletzer and Cohee said they are excited to play on the same team. They know of each other’s football success at their respective schools, and have played against each other in passing leagues over the summer. When they officially met on a visit to BC’s campus, little introduction was needed. Any local rivalry has been replaced by camaraderie.
“As linemen, we’re going to help each other, whether we’re fighting for the same position or not,” said Bletzer. “I know we’re both going to look out for the best of the team.”
“Yeah,” added Cohee, “I love the idea.”
This article was reported and written under the supervision of Northeastern University journalism instructor Lisa Chedekel, as part of collaboration between The Boston Globe and Northeastern.