ST. MARYS — If senior Charlie Eberle, 18, had to describe his final year at Memorial High School in a phrase, “living it up” would hit the mark.
Eberle and his friends made a promise of sorts to each other to make the most of the end of their high school careers and do things they had never done before. They collectively decided to be a part of the high school’s winter musical. A football player, Eberle had never set foot near a stage before this year.
“We stepped out of our comfort zone a little bit,” he said.
His role was not on stage, but rather behind it. Eberle was part of the stage crew.
“I was just kind of tucked behind the scenes,” he said. “(There’s) a lot of sitting around and watching the practices and just learning where everything goes.”
His job was to know where all the props were to go and when to put them there.
Eberle said his favorite part about the whole experience was that he clicked with the theater kids.
“Most of the people who were in the musical, or into that kind of scene, like, drama and everything, we didn’t really know that well,” he said. “We just kind of got closer to the senior class that was involved in it as well.”
Following his theme for the year of trying new things, Eberle and his friends decided to try their hand at a little cheerleading.
“Me and like four other guys had to help the cheerleaders with a routine during one of the basketball games (at halftime),” he said. “So that was kind of a different experience, too. We had to lift them and twirl them around and do part of the routine.”
Football has been a constant in Eberle’s life. He plays offensive guard and defensive lineman for the Roughriders. He appreciates the discipline and good values it has taught him, and is gracious when he talks about his playing time — which was a little less than he would have liked.
His favorite moment from his high school football experience has more to do with his former coach than any momentary glory.
“The last game we ever played our freshman year for Coach Deubler, which was the last football game he was able to be a part of,” he said. “We just really made it special for him. Everybody’s remembered it ever since.”
After graduation, Eberle is planning on attending Bowling Green University for criminal justice in the fall. It is something he has known he wanted to pursue as a career for his whole life.
“My grandpa was a cop for St. Marys, my uncle was a cop for St. Marys, and my dad is chief deputy of Auglaize County,” Eberle said. “They’re closing in on 100 years, so I’ve just been around it my whole life. I just kind of want to carry on the tradition. And I like helping people and that kind of stuff, too.”
Living in such a small town as St. Marys has shown him how gratifying law enforcement can be for small communities.
“Growing up you hear stories about that time your dad helped the one guy get his car out of the ditch or the one time your grandpa solved a case,” Eberle said. “You know, just stuff like that. It’s really nice to hear people speak highly of your family.”
Eberle is certain when he talks about coming back to St. Marys after college, and his hopes are to get a job at a local agency to gain some experience.
“Then, after I get in there and get a reasonable amount of experience, preferably four to five years, I want to try to get into BCI, which is the Bureau of Criminal Investigation,” he said. “It’s like FBI, but state level.”
Though graduation is nearing, and his career goals will soon be closer to becoming a reality, Eberle is still determined to be in the moment and just keep things simple. He will miss his friends and family the most upon leaving for Bowling Green, and “just hanging out and being carefree. Not having too many worries,” he said.