Male Athlete of the Week: Tucker Peterson helps Pillager beat rival
Tucker Peterson would prefer the spotlight to not be on him.
The running back makes that hard after his 130 yards and two touchdowns on 16 rushes in Pillager’s 22-6 win over rival Staples-Motley Friday, Oct. 4.
“(Quarterback) Erik (Peterson) hands me the ball and I just follow my linemen,” Peterson said of his big game. “My linemen give me some pretty big roles and I love running behind them.”
Huskies coach Paul Peterson says his tries to establish the run every game and set the tone. Tucker is a big part of that plan.
“That’s the way we always play,” Paul Peterson said. “We always try to do our best to run the ball and supplement that with some play action and some special teams play.”
One of Tucker Peterson’s two touchdowns went for 87 yards. Something he knows he can do because of his speed.
“I just broke through and all I had was the safety left and took off,” Tucker Peterson said.
As a junior, he went to the state track and field meet as a sprinter. Tucker Peterson’s combination of speed and toughness make him someone Paul Peterson can give a big workload to.
“He’s one of those special backs where he can run the ball hard, get those tough yards,” Paul Peterson said. “And if he breaks some tackles he can go 80, you know, he’s explosive and has great speed.
“He’s a strong runner too and breaks a lot of tackles. He’s a physical kid and a physical runner that has that extra speed that makes him a really good player.”
Speed is one of the skills that sets Tucker Peterson apart. He is always a threat to take one to the house.
“I worked pretty hard since freshman year to become the athlete I am,” Peterson said.
Pillager uses his speed not only at running back, but as a kick returner. He also plays linebacker on defense. Tucker Peterson rarely gets a breather during the game.
Tucker Peterson knows his team relies on him to perform every game. He takes pride in delivering and it’s a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly, especially on offense.
“It’s a big responsibility,” Tucker Peterson said. “But I couldn’t do it without my teammates and my offensive line around me.”
What made Tucker Peterson’s performance even sweeter for him was it came against Staples-Motley.
“It’s always fun when we play Staples -- one of our biggest rivals,” Tucker Peterson said. “Practice that week was pretty focused, probably one of the best weeks of practice we have had. We just wanted to go into the game knowing we could win and that’s what we did. It’s kind of fun to have that rivalry with the town next to you.”
He also shares a bond with his teammates that is special to him. They often go hunting and fishing together when they are not on the field together.
“My teammates we are best friends on and off the field,” Tucker Peterson said. “We always play for each other and grind it out with each other.”
Tucker Peterson has been a two-year captain and has been someone Paul Peterson trusts to bring good morale.
For Pillager, its win over S-M give them a leg up in the section standings as the regular season comes to a close.
Tucker Peterson isn’t too worried about seeding yet. He just wants to win the next game.
“We got to take care of business week in and week out,” he said. “Do whatever we can to get ready and make sure we win.”
Other notable performances:
Football: Blake Kowalczyk, Pierz, rushed for 100 yards. including a 97-yard touchdown run. in the Pioneers’ 69-0 win.
Zak Olsson, Verndale, scored two touchdowns -- one on an interception and one receiving -- and caught five passes for 53 yards in the Pirates’ 28-0 win.
Austin Price, Aitkin, rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries in the Gobblers’ 30-6 win.
Soccer: Alex Loukinen, Little Falls, scored two goals in the Flyers’ win 2-0 over Melrose
Position: Running back
Highlights: Rushed for 130 yards, including a 87-yard touchdown run, on 16 carries in Pillager’s victory over Staples-Motley