Area Male Athlete: Patriots glad Elsenpeter is back
Sebastian Elsenpeter is enjoying a productive homecoming. After spending his junior year in Florida, Elsenpeter returned to Pequot Lakes for his senior year. The running back and strong safety has played a key role in the Patriots being ranked No...
Sebastian Elsenpeter is enjoying a productive homecoming.
After spending his junior year in Florida, Elsenpeter returned to Pequot Lakes for his senior year. The running back and strong safety has played a key role in the Patriots being ranked No. 2 in Class 3A and starting the season 3-0.
Against then No. 8-ranked Perham, Elsenpeter rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns leading to a 41-0 blowout of the Yellowjackets Sept. 12.
- Year: Senior
- School: Pequot Lakes
- Sport: Football
- Position: Running back, safety
- Highlights: Rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns and added five solo tackles, three assists and a QB pressure in win over Perham
"The best way to really sum up the Pequot team is we have 12 or 13 seniors that have started since their sophomore year along with 20 to 25 that are returning seniors," said Elsenpeter. "We have a lot of depth in every position. Therefore, we're not surprised when we come out on the field. We've all been there before. It's really helping us with our confidence. We're not focused on the other team, but on what we're doing. Plus, the guys we do have are all great athletes and also very versatile."
During a 41-25 road win at Park Rapids Sept. 5, Elsenpeter tallied just 37 rushing yards and a touchdown, but added 14 tackles, with seven of those of the solo variety.
"He was a good player when he was here as a freshman and sophomore and then his family moved to Florida," said Pequot Lakes head coach Chip Lohmiller. "We knew he was a good athlete. We knew he was going to help on both sides of the ball. He's a tough kid who likes to hit.
"He learned how to play safety down there. He understands the game really well. Offensively, he knows how to be patient and wait for his blocks. When he's lined up at tailback, he's patient and has great footwork."
In Pequot's season opener, a 59-0 win over Staples-Motley Aug. 28, the senior rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
"I didn't do much offense in Florida, but I got a lot of experience," he said. "I played a lot of games and just got more knowledge about playing defense and reading the offense better. My instincts got better. Playing against better-trained athletes prepared me.
"It was a lot different down there. A lot of the athletes were a lot faster. There was more competition. It was almost like basketball around here. They go all year long. They practice and then go to camps all year."
Defensively, Elsenpeter has 14 solo tackles, 12 assists, one tackle for loss and one quarterback pressure. On 38 carries he's gained 242 yards and scored five touchdowns.
"He's got great balance and is very quick," Lohmiller said. "He has great cutting ability. He's low to the ground and he doesn't go down on the first hit. He just keeps running. He's not super fast, but he's quick and has a nose for the ball and knows where to go. He has good football sense."
Elsenpeter's numbers aren't astronomical at first glance, but considering all of Pequot's offensive weapons, he's done well with his attempts.
"Throughout the whole offense it's very balanced because we have three good wideouts and three good running backs," Lohmiller said. "It's really a balanced attack so teams can't focus on one guy. Everyone on the field is going to make a play."
With C.J. Borleis leading the offense from his quarterback position, expectations have been high all summer for this year's football team.
"I stayed in touch with the guys," said Elsenpeter. "I knew we had all these returning seniors and we had high hopes. I knew we had a lot of talent coming back. I was hoping it would be a good year. As far as what I knew I could bring to the team - just another athlete. There is nothing I do specifically that any of the other guys can't do. It's just having an extra guy out there. It adds depth and diversity. I'm nothing special."
Other notable performances:
Football: Henry Krecklau, Pine River-Backus, finished with 128 rushing yards and a touchdown and caught a TD pass against Pillager.
James Kveton, Verndale, rushed for 139 yards on just five carries against Bertha-Hewitt.
Dillon Card, Verndale, rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown and threw for 92 yards and two more TDs against B-H.
Robbie Skiba, Pierz, rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown against Holdingford.
Brighton Goodrich, Little Falls, rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown against Milaca.
Jake Larson, Crosby-Ironton, rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns against Barnum.
Noah Gindorff, Crosby-Ironton, threw for 106 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 77 yards and two scores vs. Barnum.
Zach Schertler, Wadena-Deer Creek, rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown and threw for 99 yards and returned a punt for a 60-yard punt return against United North Central.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .