Ever since this group of current Morris seniors came together as kids, many around them thought they had a chance to have a special team.
Essentially, the senior class out on the football field this year have lost three games over the last five years. Now they are getting the chance to play at the pinnacle of the IHSA game this weekend down in the state finals in Champaign.
Before heading down to play at Memorial Stadium, senior running back Reese Sobol took some time out of his busy schedule to engage the Morris Daily Herald in this week's Q&A.
Q. When did you start playing football and for whom?
A. I started playing when I was in fifth grade for the Morris Warriors on the lightweight team. I played tight end and I did not play any defense.
Q. What made you take an interest in the sport?
A. My whole family is centered around football. My dad (Sheldon) and grandpa (Chuck) played Division I football, and just about every guy in my family was a good high school player. The year I started playing was the year the Redskins won state and my cousin Matt played running back and defensive end on that team.
Q. How much did your dad influence you as a football player?
A. My dad was the main reason I wanted to play football. He always watched football and talked about the Redskins when I was young. He made playing football at Morris a big deal to me and my brothers.
Q. Have you ever seen the 1979 Morris championship game on film and do you know what assisting the runner is?
A. I have seen the tape of it once, and I do know the assisting the runner call. Its always been a joke with my family because it was one of the worst calls at one of the worst times I have ever seen. (Senior lineman) Preston (Miracle) has definitely committed some aiding the runner penalties this year that have not been called. We joke about it sometimes.
Q. What kind of advice has your dad given you now that the team is headed to state?
A. The one thing that he said to me after the game that has stuck with me was that it is not enough just to get there, we have to finish it. He was pretty emotional when he told me that and I know that he had his state championship game in mind.
Q. This group of seniors has been much anticipated as being successful. Why is that?
A. We had a lot of talent early on. Between seventh grade and last year we had lost three games as a collective group. We have always been very hard workers and we are extremely close to each other. Our senior class has the ability to find a way to win no matter what, and that has been our trademark over the years.
Q. What is your favorite part of the game?
A. My favorite part of the game is going out on the field wearing the Morris Redskin uniform and winning football games with my best friends. Nothing is better than winning a football game and celebrating with guys that you have known for the past 10 years or more.
Q. You were hurt last year but have bounced back nicely this year. Do you think this has hurt in recruiting to play at the next level?
A. It has definitely hurt me because most colleges do their recruiting based on a player's junior season. However that is not a big deal to me in comparison with finishing this season the right way. In all honesty I have not made contact with any coaches at all yet because I want to finish this season with no distractions and I will worry about recruiting later.
Q. Is that something you would like to do?
A. At this point I am keeping my options open.
Q. Finally. If you had a piece of advice to give a young player who wanted to play football for the Morris Redskins, what advice would you give them?
A. Get involved with the Morris Warriors as soon as you can. It is a great experience and they will meet plenty of kids that they will be friends with through high school. More importantly, those coaches know what they are doing and they prepare the kids to be Redskins.