Football: Larsen looking to expand role with Hubs

Rising senior Crue Larsen is doing everything he can to become an impact player on offense and defense. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Rising senior motivated to step up at safety, wingback positions

Crue Larsen has spent countless hours watching film and building strength in the weight room to prepare for his senior season with the Rochelle football team. Although Larsen didn’t see the field much in his first varsity season, the two-way player and special teams contributor is more motivated than ever to rise up and make a greater impact for the Hubs next season.

An Academic All-Conference honoree this past season, Larsen worked on special teams while filling a reserve role in both the offensive and defensive backfields. With a full varsity season under his belt, Larsen will return next season vying for starting reps at the safety position, where the Hubs are looking to replace graduating senior and All-Conference honoree Ethan Etes.

“I learned the defense and the coverages fairly well last season,” Larsen said. “This season, I want to not only focus on learning my position, but the responsibilities of my teammates so I can ensure that everyone knows what they need to do on each play. I hope to be more of a leader on the defense, as the safety needs to be, and have everyone trust that I can make the right calls. I hope to be a crucial part of the team’s success on the defensive side of the ball.”

Larsen will also be competing for starting reps at the wingback position, one of three starting positions in the offensive backfield. The Hubs graduated four ball-carriers from their 2019 roster including All-Conference First-Team fullback Gavin Ansteth as well as Austin Greifenkamp, Keegan Davis-Carter and Nick Albers. Larsen said he’s striving to improve his speed, agility, strength and blocking abilities in preparation for his senior season.

“I hope to be a crucial part of the team’s success on the offensive side of the ball,” Larsen said. “In order for me to be successful, I’m going to need to be extra focused during practice and I’ll need to study film and plays on my own time to master my position on both sides of the ball. I hope to continue making great strides in the weight room to improve my abilities on the field.”

The Hubs fielded one of its smallest senior classes in recent history this past season, but that won’t be the case this time around. After a 4-5 finish to their 2019 campaign, Larsen and his teammates are returning with more confidence and experience, and the Hubs will look to rally around a new senior class that has stuck together since Rochelle Junior Tackle in fifth grade.

“We performed well in some of our games last season, but there were other games where we made some major mistakes that cost us,” Larsen said. “We fully expect to participate in the playoffs this year and I have confidence that we can make a run in the playoffs if everything falls into place… This year, we will be much more focused on preparing for our matchup each week and ensuring that each player knows his job and executes on offense and defense.”

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