Football: Messer staying mentally sharp on the line

Junior tackle eager to earn starting varsity role


For Rochelle Township High School lineman Grant Messer, staying focused on the football field means not letting a single bad down define the whole game. That mental toughness will be an area of emphasis as Messer works off the scout team and into the varsity lineup next season.

Messer was rostered on the varsity team as a sophomore this past season, but he took many of his reps on the scout team during practice and with the JV team during games. Now a junior, Messer said his aspiration for next season is to become a player his teammates can count on.

“I want to be somebody who can make key blocks when the team needs them,” Messer said. “We want to play to the best of our ability and win games next season. I felt my role last year was to challenge the starters and help them improve during practice. I hope to be a starter and someone who’s reliable and a good teammate next season. I felt that I did well last year, but I know I can contribute much more and I hope to change that going into next season.”

The 5-foot-8, 240-pound tackle has enjoyed the competitiveness of football since he first began playing flag football in third grade. As Messer prepares for his first varsity season as an upperclassman, he’ll be in the mix for starting reps when the Hubs take the field once again.

“Mentally, I thought I did well in not letting a single bad play define the whole game,” Messer said. “I was able to forget about a mistake and get after it on the next play. I want to improve my explosiveness off the ball next season. I love how football allows me to compete with others.”