ROCHELLE — Junior Garrett Gensler was a workhorse for the Rochelle Hub varsity football team this season, starting at tailback and inside linebacker while helping his team to an 8-3 record and a 5-1 record in the Interstate 8/Kishwaukee River Blue Division.
An Interstate 8 All-Conference Honorable Mention as a sophomore, Gensler’s efforts this fall resulted in 5A First-Team All-State recognition from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association.
“It’s really an honor,” Gensler said. “I want to thank all of my teammates, my coaches, my family and anyone else who helped me along the way. I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Gensler finished the season as Rochelle’s leading rusher, totaling 925 yards and 20 touchdowns while adding five receptions for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Gensler shined in Rochelle’s playoff win against Chicago (Payton), recording 176 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“I thought I developed more leadership this season,” Gensler said. “I thought I blocked better and ran harder this season as well. Defensively, I thought I showed more leadership and I communicated more with my guys up front. I thought I had a higher motor this season.”
Gensler ran for a season-high five touchdowns in Rochelle’s 43-21 win over Kaneland after opening the season with four touchdowns in a 60-22 victory against Woodstock. Defensively, Gensler tied for the team lead with 38 tackles at inside linebacker this fall. Gensler is one of three junior starting linebackers eligible to return to the Rochelle defense next season.
“I have high expectations for next year,” Gensler said. “We have a lot of key players coming back and we’re losing some important leaders who I really love. I’m hoping we can win the conference and make a solid run in the playoffs next year. I’m trying to get faster and stronger and improve myself every day. I also want to work on being a better leader for our team.”