With 21 of 22 starting players for the Morris football team graduated from a year ago, it is logical then that virtually every position on the field this fall is going to be up for grabs.
Last year as a junior, Austin Laurie played fullback and linebacker for the Redskins in a reserve role. He got 13 carries and ran for 39 yards as a fullback. Defensively, he recorded 17 tackles, again as a backup.
Laurie and many guys like him are going to be the ones that the 2013 Morris football team relies on this fall. Laurie feels that both he and the Redskins are up to the challenge.
This week, Laurie took some time out of his busy schedule to engage the Morris Daily Herald as this week’s question and answer subject. Here’s how it went.
Q. When did you first start playing football and with whom?
A. I first started playing football in 2003. I played for the Morris Chiefs as a linemen all the way until eighth grade.
Q. What are your earliest competitive memories?
A. I have always had a competitive side, but my earliest memories was knocking a kid out of his shoes against Reed Custer as a superlight.
Q. Who were your biggest influences toward the game of football?
A. My father has been my biggest influence for the game. I’ve looked up to him for anything especially football because he was a great player and he knows the game.
Q. Did you play other sports growing up? Which ones?
A. I have played baseball, football, and I wrestled for many years. Football has been the best for me and what i dedicate most of my time to.
Q. What makes football such a special game?
A. The game of football to me is so special because of the competition and friendships you make. Also, It helps release some of the uptight anger you might have toward anything or anyone.
Q. Entering high school, what was the biggest adjustment you had to make in regards to playing football?
A. In high school, football goes from being a fall sport to all year round sport. Even though you play for the fall, the rest of the year is wrapped up in lifting and conditioning.
Q. Let’s fast forward to the present. A lot of people are doubting how good this Morris football team can be this year because so many people off last year’s team have graduated. What do you say to those doubters?
A. Our team will be good. They act like all of us have never played the game before. These doubters will have to come watch our games and see if for themselves what we can do. For now, keep talking because we fuel from your doubts and it makes us even better each day.
Q. You are listed as a linebacker and fullback on the roster, is that right? Also, have you ever played receiver?
A. My main position is linebacker. Yet, I also fill in as a fullback. At fullback I run routes out of back field and the team joke is “fat kid has hands”. I rarely run at the receiver position.
Q. You’ve seen both Matt Darlington and Griffin Sobol all summer. What are your impressions of each of them as the potential signal caller for the Redskins this fall?
A. Both of them have their ups and downs, but it is still a good competition for this spot. Our team camp in the end of July will tell who will start at this position.
Q. What is it going to take for this football team’s season to be considered a success?
A. Our team is filled with talent. The main thing we need for this season is to work as a unit and play with a attitude. If we do this good things will come for our team.
Q. Finally, what kind of advice would you give a young kid who wanted to be a winner for the Morris Redskins when he gets into high school?
A. For the incoming kids that want to succeed in the program, the main thing is attendance. If you show up everyday you will become strong and a better athlete. Also just have fun and don’t be scared of anyone.