College football: Wide receiver has CLC in hunt for state title
Steve Wroblewski is an outdoorsman, particularly an avid hunter. As a resident of Colorado, the wide receiver for the Central Lakes College Raiders football team grew up hunting geese and ducks. "Colorado is a great bird area so I would do that e...
Steve Wroblewski is an outdoorsman, particularly an avid hunter.
As a resident of Colorado, the wide receiver for the Central Lakes College Raiders football team grew up hunting geese and ducks.
"Colorado is a great bird area so I would do that every weekend," Wroblewski said. "When I came up here and found out there wasn't too many birds I was disappointed."
But Wroblewski has made the transition to archery deer hunting in Minnesota.
- College: Central Lakes
- Position: Wide receiver
- Height: 6-8
- Weight: 230
- Age: 21
- Major: Business management
- Grade-point average: 3.0
- High school: Eagle Crest in Aurora, Colo.
"I actually shot a buck a couple days ago," he said. "It was fun. It was my first whitetail buck, my first archery hunt ... It was about 170 pounds, an 8-point buck."
Wroblewski and his Raider teammates will go hunting at 1 p.m. Sunday for the MCAC state championship at St. Cloud State University against Rochester. It will be the sixth time CLC has played for the state championship in head coach Greg Medeck's eight years as head coach. It will also be the sixth time Rochester has been the Raiders' state final opponent.
"We're a different team every year, a different team every game," Wroblewski said. "We improve each week, and hopefully we come out with the win. The way our offense has played the past couple games the first quarter we've been so explosive, then the defense stops them three and out. As long as we have that, and execute during this game, I think we'll come out with the win."
Wroblewski is one of the reasons the Raiders are playing for another title. During the 2014 regular season he caught 38 passes for 671 yards (17.7 average) with nine touchdowns.
Those stats improved upon a red-shirt freshman season in 2013 when he grabbed 28 throws for 422 yards (15.1) and scored five TDs.
Wroblewski has been the beneficiary of some skilled quarterback play from freshman Jake Faber this year and sophomore Andrew Johnson in 2013.
Faber was the Northern Division Offensive Player of the Week four times this season. In the regular season, he led the division in passing with 156 completions in 278 attempts (56.1 percent) for 2,254 yards and 30 TDs.
"He's a good quarterback," Wroblewski said. "He's young still. He's still learning a lot. I think he will do incredible next year the way he's stepping up his game. He learns day-by-day in practice. I try to work on the little things with him."
A year ago, Johnson was the Southern Division Offensive Player of the Week four times. He also led the division in regular-season passing with 125 completions in 230 attempts (54.3 percent) for 2,040 yards and 19 scores.
"It was nice having a quarterback like him," Wroblewski said. "He executed very well. he made plays when we needed them. He was an All-American. That really helped."
Wroblewski, a captain along with Sam Moriarty and Josh Lanners, actually is in his third year at CLC. In 2012 he played just two games, suffering a season-ending knee injury in Game Two and CLC went on to beat Rochester for the title.
"I made a cut, the guy took out my knee when I planted," said Wroblewski, who works at Applebee's in Baxter during the offseason and grooms snowmobile trails in the winter for Brainerd Nordic Ski Club. "It was tough, going through the season, (CLC) being in the championship and me not playing. It was pretty tough."
A former high school teammate, Skyler Shearer, helped Wroblewski land at CLC. Shearer and Wroblewski were Raider teammates in 2012.
"I didn't know what I was doing after high school," Wroblewski said. "I was always injured during high school football so I didn't really get any looks or any stats."
After Wroblewski graduated from high school, he worked until spring semester of 2012 and attended Front Range Community College in Colorado. Shearer called Wroblewski in the spring of 2012 and talked to him about playing for the Raiders.
"He asked if I still played football," Wroblewski said, "and I said 'I don't play right now but I kind of want to still. He said (CLC coach Greg) Medeck wanted a receiver. So he showed some film on me, and I came up here that summer."
Medeck called Wroblewski a "great kid, a great student with huge potential to play at the next level." Southern Utah and St. Cloud State are among the colleges so far that have shown interest in Wroblewski for next season.
"He really enjoys the Brainerd area," Medeck added. "He's an avid hunter and fisher that has enjoyed living here the last three years. He's a perfect example of what we are looking for in recruiting and how this program can make an impact on someone's life and future."
In Wroblewski's three years at CLC, the Raiders have won 29 of 32 games and three division championships. This week they are ranked sixth in the country in the NJCAA poll.
"It's been great," Wroblewski said of his CLC experience. "I never thought I would end up in Minnesota, that's for sure. I grew up with a family in Colorado that's from Minnesota so I always wanted to experience it. I never had a chance to come up here but when I did ... I actually love it up here. I call it home pretty much. When I went back to Colorado I would kind of miss Minnesota so I wanted to come back early.
"I grew up in a big town, Aurora with over 600,000 people. Coming up here it's a different environment. I just like the outdoors."