Adam Bertke hails from one of the top small-school conferences in the nation—the Midwest Athletic Conference, located in western Ohio.
This conference has produced its share of quarterbacks, including Bobby Hoying (Ohio State), Todd Boeckman (Ohio State) and currently Keith Wenning (Ball State).
The MAC has won 21 state titles. Marion Local High School owns five of them, including a Division VI championship last season. And Bertke was sensational in the finals, passing for 278 yards and four TDs.
This prototypical quarterback (6'5", 195 pounds) completed 131 of 222 passes for 2,233 yards and 25 TDs as a sophomore.
This season the Flyers are 4-0 and ranked No.1 in the AP Ohio High School Football Poll. Bertke is the main reason, completing 67 of 106 passes for 769 yards and four TDs.
The Flyers changed their M.O. this year to take advantage of Bertke's talents. Normally, a play-action pass team, Marion Local operates out of a no-huddle, four-receiver set type of spread.
And Bertke has responded with 358 yards and seven TDs on the ground, averaging 7.6 yards per clip.
Bertke is a nice prospect with great size and mobility. He has tremendous accuracy and a nice touch on the short routes. His pocket presence is exceptional for a kid his age. He can stand tall and deliver.
Head coach Tim Goodwin said after Friday's victory, "He has a big arm. He can make every throw. But what sets him apart from a lot of kids, he isn't afraid of contact. Very physical. Very deceptive. For a big kid, he makes a lot of people miss."
Goodwin ought to know. Since 1999, his teams have appeared in six state finals and his overall record is 141-38.
The 17-year-old Bertke attended camps this summer at Ohio State, Michigan State and Toledo. He walked away from the Toledo camp with an offer.
Despite Marion Local's spread offense this season, Goodwin believes Bertke will be a pro-style quarterback at the next level. He seems to think schools like Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa would be a good fit.
Editor's Note: I covered the game Sept. 14 and interviewed Tim Goodwin.