NEW CARLISLE -

For the first time in school history, New Prairie's football team finished the regular season undefeated, a perfect 9-0. At the heart of the Cougars' smothering defense is Todd Suttor, a perfect blend of the physical and mental.

"He enjoys the opportunity to use his intelligence," said New Prairie head coach Russ Radtke. "He's a very smart young man."

In fact, Suttor is number three in his class with a 4.0 GPA. And he leads the team in tackles as an inside linebacker with all the responsibilities.

"We call everything out there. We have all of our formations," Suttor said. "We adjust to what [the opponents] do. The coaches, they call in if they want it changed, but that's it. Everything is called by me and the other linebacker."

"I don't know whether he's going to be a lawyer, a doctor or a politician," said Radtke. "But he's got all three of them going for him right now."

Actually, the senior wants to be an engineer. He's also a member of the school's Robotics Team.

"We had to make a robot that threw Frisbees through goals," Radtke said of last year's challenge.

On the field, his job is to limit points. New Prairie has five shutouts this year and the second-best scoring defense in the state (4.67 points per game, trailing only Penn).

Like a lot of his teammates, Suttor is a multi-sport athlete. But he goes with a rare trifecta: football, swimming -- and the one with the biggest rush -- pole vaulting.

"It's like a roller coaster. It's a thrill ride," Suttor said of his high-flying sport. "You just don't know what to expect when you're up there. Things can go wrong, things can go right."

Sounds a lot like playoff football. But at least the Cougars know they have the right guy calling all the shots.