Updated Tue, May 28, 2013 11:23 am
Former Athens High School two-way lineman John Keifer signed Monday to play football for the Marietta Pioneers next season according to The Athens Messenger.
Keifer was a standout offensive guard and defensive tackle for the Bulldogs as a three-year starter. In 2012, with Keifer leading the way up front the Bulldogs scored 92 touchdowns and finished with an 11-2 record, losing 60-21 in the Division III OHSAA State Championship Game to the Thurgood Marshall Cougars of Dayton, Ohio.
Keifer earned honorable mention All-Ohio and first team All-District honors following his senior season. During his three seasons on varsity Keifer led the most successful senior class in Athens High School history. The team went 26-8, including a 2-2 record in the playoffs, with two league titles and an appearance in the state championship game during that span.
At Marietta, Keifer will play offensive guard, joining former Bulldog teammate Jon Kenner on the offensive line. Kenner, a 2010 Athens graduate, is a senior offensive lineman for the Pioneers.
“Having someone down there, an Athens kid as well, I feel like that is really what pushed me into going to Marietta the most,” Keifer told The Messenger.
At 6-foot-1, 270 pounds, Keifer is an athletic lineman. His time spent as a wrestler in high school should also provide him with valuable technique in the trenches. Keifer will have an opportunity to make an early impression and fight for playing time this summer under the Pioneers’ new head coach Andy Waddle.
“I’d like to see myself at least getting a little playing time on the varsity level down there,” Keifer said to The Messenger, “possibly start if that’s how the cards fall.”
Waddle was hired in December after eight seasons with Wittenberg University to turn around a Pioneers program that went 0-10 last season. Marietta opens its season Saturday, Sept. 7 on the road against the Case Western Reserve Spartans in Cleveland.