What has it meant to play football this spring?
“It’s pretty much meant everything to me and my buddies. As we all know, it didn’t look like we were going to play at all. But when they told us we could play and how far it’s already came since they told us we could play, with all the fans and them allowing more people, it’s been pretty (darn) good. … A lot of us were quite frustrated (with the Week 1 cancellation), but we took that week off of practice and we came back and we worked as hard as we could. We lost a couple of starters for Week 2, but we went out there and we played as hard as we could.”
How did you wind up at running back this season?
“I haven’t played running back since about 70 pounds ago and my freshman year. I played a little bit of our slot-back position (in the past), and other than that only defense. … I’m having a lot of fun back there playing. With our O-line, it’s been pretty easy.”
Did you anticipate getting off to such a strong start at the position?
“I wasn’t expecting that at all. I just go out there and I try my hardest. I run behind our massive O-line and do what I can. I’ve always had good field vision and a good mind for the game, so I just go out there and do what I’m taught. … There was one run against Pontiac last week where we were on the 25-yard line and I was sticking and moving like I was about a 170-pound running back, and I’m nowhere near that. It’s just fun running behind our O-line.”
You guys are 2-0 and eighth in Class 3A. Does that hold extra significance given there’s no postseason this spring?
“It’s been pointed out to us, but it sucks not being able to show off our talents in a state series. We all wish we could go back to the playoffs. After missing the playoffs my sophomore year, it was hard. And then getting back to it last year, it was really exciting. Now that we’ve got to miss the playoffs again, it just doesn’t feel like a regular tradition. But we’re still going to work our hardest and try to be the best team in the conference.”
Colin Likas covers Illinois football and high school sports at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.