Versatile Luhrsen named Player of the Year
Updated: June 2, 2011 7:33PM
Eric Luhrsen followed in the footsteps of his older brother John by playing football and volleyball at Wheaton Warrenville South.
But Eric had to draw a line in the sand somewhere.
“John is working in Ft. Myers (Fla.) and was playing beach volleyball until he broke his foot or ankle, I’m not really sure which,” Eric said. “Jumping was pretty painful, so he made the next rational decision and decided to play rugby.
“That’s the way he thinks. ‘If I can’t play volleyball, I’ll go play the toughest sport out there.’”
You won’t find Eric Luhrsen diving headfirst into a scrum anytime soon. The Sun-Times Player of the Year plans to pursue a business degree and play football at Eastern Illinois University in the fall.
“I liked the feel of the school, the business program is a good fit for me, and it’s far enough away that I will feel like I am on my own and close enough that if I want to come home I can,” Luhrsen said.
But why no college volleyball?
“Football is a little easier on my knees,” he said.
Luhrsen, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound outside hitter/offensive tackle, recently wrapped up a storied high school career that included state football championships in 2009 and 2010 and state volleyball titles in 2008 and 2009.
But it is not only his athletic ability, his punishing kills and wicked serves that made him worthy of admiration. It is the intangibles he brought to the court and to his teammates.
“Eric took his life experience and rolled it into being the complete leader when it came to this team,” WW South volleyball coach Bill Schreier said. “He parlayed his athletic career into a relentless pursuit of finishing his senior year the right way.
“His focus and the team’s through his leadership never deterred at all from day one. Each year he added another dimension to his game to continue to become a complete player, and it shows.”
Luhrsen, for his part, is quick to credit others.
“The people I have met along the way have made things so easy for me,” he said. “I have had some awesome coaches. My teammates have pushed me in practice. Every year, they have helped me become a better player.”