CANTON— It's not usual for a freshman to make an impact at the varsity football level, but Tyson Struber from Canton-Galva High School was everywhere on the field and will take his talents to the next level in his sophomore season.
Last season, Struber led the Eagles with 42 catches, 572 yards and 14 total touchdowns. He also had a total of 898 all-purpose yards. On defense, he recorded 66 total tackles (45 solo and 3.0 tackles for loss) as a safety.
Not bad for a freshman.
Eagles head coach Shelby Hoppes believes he will only get better.
"Being a freshman, even with the skill sets that he has, sometimes your confidence level isn't as high as it should be," Hoppes said. "It results in a huge learning curve. I don't care how good of a player you are, the speed of the game is the physicality of the game. It's just different."
Struber is thankful for the coaching staff that got him through playing at the varsity level.
"They have been amazing," Struber said. "They have been pushing us every single day even if we blew a team out. They made sure that we get better every week and every practice."
Struber also mentioned the time he and his teammates put in their speed, power, strength program. A program the Eagles prioritize every summer and will recognize each player for their performance in the weight room.
"We take a lot of pride in that," Struber said. "We may not be the biggest team out there, but we're definitely going 100 percent every rep, and we'll show you how tough we are and that we are whole different athletes."
It wasn't just Struber who broke out his freshman season. The Eagles, overall, shocked the state after going 10-2 last season. The Eagles were just only one win away from going to the state championship. Struber is confident that this year's Eagles team, which returns everyone, will make it to the state finals after coming up just short.
"We are definitely more motivated this year, we have one goal in mind, and that's the state championship," Struber said.
It also helps to have a veteran quarterback in Landon Everett returning for his senior year. Struber has a strong relationship with Everett and has soaked all the leadership traits he possesses.
"Landon is a great leader. He pushes us every single day," Struber said. "He's just a great athlete and a better man. He's always getting everyone involved and making sure everyone is responsible. I really look up to him."
As Struber gets ready for his sophomore season, he is expected to be more physical and more confident to go along the raw and elite talent he produced on the field.
"This year, I expect him to take another step, and the physicality of the game and the speed of it. He's obviously a great athlete and has great instincts and great skill sets, but he has to keep and move forward in the little things of the game. He's a hard worker and a good kid."
Canton-Galva's opening game will be against Little River High School on Sept.6 at 7 p.m.
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