As a player Deerfield High School football Coach Steve Winiecki calls the best defender in the Central Suburban League, Colton Emmerich knows something about bringing opposing player to the ground.
As a champion wrestler for the Warriors, Emmerich knows something about take downs.
The Deerfield senior also knows how to take the skills he has acquired on the mat and use them to topple opposing quarterbacks and “take down” running backs behind the line of scrimmage as he did in the Warriors 43-0 victory over Maine East Friday at Adams Field.
“All the experience and skills I use to (tackle) guys comes from wrestling,” Emmerich said. “All the hand fighting, the moves help me make smart plays.”
When the Warriors get into an opponent’s backfield, Emmerich is usually the first one there. He tackled two Blue Demons for negative yardage Friday and sacked the quarterback once. He has been on a roll all season.
“He had two sacks against Highland Park, three against Glenbrook North and four (against Maine West),” Winiecki said after a 62-40 win over Maine West Oct. 11. “I don’t know of anyone else who makes such an impact in a game,”
Hand fighting is a key to success in both wrestling and football. It is the legal use of one’s hands to move an opponent out of the way and gain an advantage. “That’s a key to pass rushing,” Winiecki said. “It’s how you get (your opponent) out of the way.”
Emmerich also knows his training will shift from a football to wrestling regimen after the Warriors finish their gridiron season at 7 p.m. Friday at Niles North. He took fifth in last year’s Sectional Meet. “I just missed,” he said of qualifying for State. He wants to go this time.
Get local news in a daily email from Patch. It's like getting a free newspaper. Learn more. Then "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.