Football: Harvey striving for healthy senior season

Rising senior Ben Harvey breaks a tackle en route to a touchdown run against the Kaneland Knights this past season. Harvey will return as a leading contributor to the Hub football and wrestling programs in 2020-21. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Two-sport standout motivated to lead by example

Not much frustrated Rochelle Township High School standout Ben Harvey more this past football and wrestling season than nagging injuries. With a full offseason to train and return to full health, Harvey has high expectations as he prepares to step up as a rising senior.

A two-way starter for the football team this past season, Harvey totaled 456 rushing yards, second-most in the backfield, while adding two touchdowns on the ground. The Academic All-Conference honoree missed the final portion of the season with a foot injury, and the Hubs just missed the postseason with a 4-5 record. With his first varsity season in the books, Harvey will be ready to carry the rock and take on a larger role with the team this fall.

“I felt that I definitely performed to the best of my ability,” Harvey said. “It was an awesome experience to start on varsity as a junior and build up some experience for this year. I felt that I did the basic things well, but I’d like to really try and be a leader for the team and make big plays when we need to push through adversity and tough situations on the field. I’d love for our team to make the playoffs, and I think if we put in the work, we can do just that.”

Harvey will also be looking to carry his good health over to the wrestling room, where he made history earlier this year as the first student-athlete at RTHS to complete back-to-back 40-win seasons. Harvey, who went 44-5 as a sophomore and 41-5 as a junior, will headline a varsity roster that went 18-4 in its first season as a member of the Interstate 8 Conference.

A two-time IHSA State Championship qualifier and one-time medalist who also earned IWCOA Academic All-State honors and the RTHS Most Valuable Wrestler this past season, Harvey said he’s more motivated than ever to return to state for a third time and win a title.

“My wrestling season wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be,” Harvey said. “I was not prepared enough mentally or physically for the state series and I hope to improve during the second half of the season this year. I think I really turned up my offense last year and that’s something I’d like to carry over to this year, as well as improving my defense. I won’t be satisfied with anything less than a state championship, which will take more work than I’ve ever put in.”

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