On the field, Jon Deshler, Tyler Imhoff and Sam Schadek have played important, if not sometimes unheralded, roles for the Upper Arlington High School football team.
Off the field, the three seniors have something else in common: a fascination for, if not a future in, media, whether in front of or behind a camera.
Deshler, a tight end, and Schadek, a two-way lineman, are part of the crew of Kickin' It Live, a production of UA's broadcast theory class that airs on YouTube every Friday. They write scripts, work behind the camera and anchor on a weekly basis and are thinking of pursuing media-related careers.
Imhoff, an offensive lineman, long has considered film a hobby and recently got a chance to tour the 21st Century Fox studios in Los Angeles with his father, UA Schools Superintendent Paul Imhoff. The tour was arranged by a cousin of coach Joel Cutler's wife, Elaine.
"We ask them to stay intent and we ask them to stay focused on the field, but it's neat to see a different side of them when they're not playing," Cutler said.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Deshler has caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown and largely is used as a blocking tight end. Imhoff, who stands 5-10 and 260, is the center of an offensive line that has paved the way for UA to average 307.5 yards and 26.9 points per game.
At 6-2 and 255, Schadek is one of only two two-way starters for the Bears along with lineman Jackson Ness. He plays defensive end full-time but also sees considerable time at offensive guard and has 32 tackles, including 27 solo and four sacks, and recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown Sept. 14 at Westerville South.
Schadek has a scholarship offer from Valparaiso and also has received interest from Bowling Green and Kent State.
UA is 4-4 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Central Division entering a Friday, Oct. 19, home game against Central Crossing.
Deshler, who plans to study communications or business at either Miami University or Ohio State, is spending this quarter on Kickin' It Live's sports desk. The show also includes news and lifestyle segments.
"We try to think about our audience," Deshler said. "It's about things that are of use to students to UA. We try to make sure every team is covered. We provide information, stats and scores and do some video packages ... so students will show up to the games and spark interest."
Schadek said experience in theater production at Jones Middle School helped grow his interest in media, albeit more behind the camera than in front.
"Being in theatre production molded into (an interest in) media, like the video soundboard, editing, things like that. On-camera is fine, but I prefer the other stuff," Schadek said. "I love doing the show. We'll get positive and negative feedback around school. People might mention if we make a mistake, but we get a lot of compliments. People seem to enjoy it."
Imhoff said he hopes to attend Miami, which is his father's alma mater, and is leaning toward a career in special education, but added that "having film as a hobby might be something I do in the future."
"I've always loved movies since I was a little kid and I've enjoyed making videos for school or just personal enjoyment," Imhoff said. "It was neat to see how everything worked (at 21st Century Fox), like the sound stages. I saw the writing rooms. I saw how the business worked and I got to talk to a stage manager, which was a really cool experience. He explained the business side and the process of making movies and television shows."
Deshler had his first touchdown catch of the season Oct. 12, hauling in an 11-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Leve in a 14-0 win at Marysville that kept the Bears' playoff hopes alive. Running back Eli D'Herete ran for a 2-yard score as UA was projected to jump to 10th in Division I, Region 2 with two games left in the regular season.
The top eight teams in the region make the playoffs.
Central Crossing improved to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the league with a 31-20 win over Westland on Oct. 12.
UA is 7-2 all-time against Central Crossing. A 24-19 win over the Comets last year later was forfeited because of an ineligible player.