This Saturday, the Lions square off against Brown in Providence in the final game of their 2010 campaign. Both the Columbia defense and special teams will be challenged by a talented and versatile athlete, who is striving to carry the Bears to a winning record.
Sophomore running back Mark Kachmer, who hails from Wheaton, Ill., has played a pivotal part in the Bears’ success this season. Kachmer is an all-around football player, playing safety in high school before transitioning to running back. He’s truly a jack of all trades: He not only leads the team in both rushing and kickoff return yards with 470 and 460 respectively, but he has also contributed in the receiving game with 123 receiving yards. Up to this point, Kachmer totals an impressive 1,053 all-purpose yards, by far the most on the Bears this season.
As an offensive player, Kachmer is a solid back who has averaged 3.9 yards per carry this season. With 120 rushes, he has also carried the pigskin more than any other Bear. Kachmer has also shown himself to be a reliable target for senior quarterback Joe Springer, as Kachmer has caught 18 passes for 123 receiving yards. Kachmer leads the offense in both scoring and touchdowns, with seven runs into the endzone.
In addition to his offensive scoring, he’s taken it the distance twice this season on kickoff returns, putting him second on the team in scoring with 54 points, behind only freshman kicker Alexander Norocea.
Although Kachmer’s statistics this season have been impressive, especially for a sophomore, such results were not completely unexpected. Kachmer did well his freshman year as both a running back and a kickoff return specialist. He only rushed for 14 yards in 2009, but amassed 144 return yards and earned himself the seventh-place spot on the Bears’ all-purpose yardage list. In the spirit of versatility, Kachmer also played a little defense as a freshman, registering four tackles, three of them solo.
Kachmer’s versatility dates back to his days at St. Francis High School. There, he lettered in both football and track and field. Kachmer excelled in both sports and still holds high school records for the most rushing yards and touchdowns in a single game, the fastest 200-meter dash, as well as the four-by-200 and four-by-400 meter relays.
Kachmer is expected to challenge the Light Blue this Saturday. Not only can he fill multiple roles, but he will also be playing on a team hungry to earn a winning record in 2010.