Tahlequah Daily Press

July 3, 2013

Point(er) of attack

Northeastern State’s Bobby Pointer has a passion for horse racing outside of playing football.

By BEN JOHNSON
Sports Editor

— His college football career isn’t over yet, but Bobby Pointer already has some future endeavors in mind. First on the list: horse racing.

That’s right, even at 6-foot-1 and 287 pounds, Pointer is an avid rancher and outdoorsman. Caring for and maintaining horses is high on his list of priorities — right next to playing nose guard for Northeastern State.

He has his hometown of Dewar to thank for that.

“I do quite a bit with horses, and I even have a few horses and I raise them,” said Pointer, who hopes to get into horse racing — while coaching — after his playing days are long gone. “And I sell some horses on the side.”

Pointer’s love for the outdoors was enhanced when he moved from Detroit to a town of less than a 1,000 in Oklahoma. Once he arrived in the Sooner State, Pointer teamed up with Ronnell Lewis, who went on to play at the University of Oklahoma and is currently with the Detroit Lions. Together, Pointer and Lewis helped build a dynasty at Dewar, taking the Dragons to the brink of a state championship several times.

“It was a dream come true,” Pointer said of his high school career. “It worked out perfectly — like a storybook.”

Sandwiched in between his time in Dewar and at NSU, Pointer made a detour in Miami, Okla., at Northeastern State A&M. Now, after turning down Pittsburg State and Weber State, Pointer will be one of several veterans returning on the defensive line for the RiverHawks in 2013.

In the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2012, the RiverHawks ranked last in sacking the quarterback, 10th in passing defense, 10th in rushing defense and 11th in total defense. But Pointer said that introductory year in the MIAA was a positive learning experience.

“You see a lot of technicians,” Pointer said of offensive linemen in the MIAA. “They are very technically sound and don’t make silly mistakes. It forces you to play really sound defense, and if you’re going to beat (anyone) you have to play solid defense.”

The RiverHawks were able to limit opponents to 20.3 points per game in a four-game winning streak to close out the 2012 regular season. As NSU’s defense improved, the wins started becoming more prevalent, Pointer said.

“The games that we played good defense,” Pointer said, “we won. That was really the biggest difference.”

Pointer finished the 2012 campaign with 30 tackles, 1 1/2 tackles for loss and half of a sack. That’s certainly more than NSU head coach Kenny Evans expected out of Pointer.

“He was a marginal player at NEO, but he really stepped up when we had defensive linemen out last year,” Evans said. “Hopefully things he did last year will carry over.”

The fact that NSU failed to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks was noticeable to Pointer and his teammates. That, he said, is something that was addressed during spring practice.

“We’ll have Leo Gross and James Renfrow, who has been solid off the edge since I’ve been here,” Pointer said. “...I played with Gross during JUCO ball, and he’s talented at rushing the passer. We’re looking forward to him getting some sacks, and hopefully we can get me a couple.”

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