WORTHINGTON -- Blake Luinenburg’s self-described most embarrassing moment in sports was also one of his most impressive.
He had a Jim Marshall moment.
The older sports fans among us will remember Jim Marshall, the Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman who once picked up a fumble by the opposing team and ran the wrong way for a score against his own team. You can see it on YouTube, and it’s well worth the effort.
But keep in mind: Luinenburg redeemed himself big-time.
“Probably the most embarrassing moment of my whole sports career was, when I was in eighth grade we were playing Austin in a hockey tournament, and I scored on my own goalie,” Luinenburg remembers. “And then I came back and scored six more on THEIR goalie.”
So what did your teammates think when you scored in the wrong net, Blake?
“They weren’t happy. We were down 2 to 1 and that made it 3 to 1.”
How did the mistake happen?
“I tried to tip it in the corner and it just tipped off my stick and went in the net instead. I was very embarrassed. I had it set in my mind that I needed to go out and do what I could about it.”
And he certainly did. Luinenburg, a senior and a member of the Worthington High School hockey team, has played the sport since he was 4 years old. Some would say he’s a lucky guy to have such an interesting story to tell because, well, Jim Marshall wasn’t able to redeem himself like that.
This fall, Luinenburg is competing for the WHS football Trojans, and he’s one of the key members of a front line that is widely seen as a team strength.
Being a successful lineman isn’t easy. You’ve got to have a sizable mixture of intelligence and power, and you’ve got to work within yourself and within a group. Luinenburg believes that a good lineman has to be able to be calm under pressure.
“And you gotta be pretty mean out there,” he adds. “It takes a lot of strength and mind muscle to block ‘em.”
This week’s Globe Drill subject spoke with us recently about football and hockey. You can see the video online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: Tell us more about how to be a good football lineman.
ANSWER: “You gotta be really good on your assignments. You gotta know every single play in the whole playbook. If you don’t do your job, the quarterback gets sacked and the play is dead. You gotta keep your balance. We do a lot of squats and duck walks and stuff like that during practice just to kind of keep ourselves balanced and have a strong base.”
QUESTION: Can this 2021 Worthington High School football team have a successful season?
ANSWER: “We definitely have some ways that we can achieve success. Obviously, everyone wants to win games, but just for how it’s been the last few years, I just want to go out there, have fun, be in close games, and hopefully pull off a few wins.”
QUESTION: What else do you like to do?
ANSWER: “I like to race. I drive a race car on dirt. I drive an IMCA Hobby Stock. I race at Worthington, Slayton, and kind of just all over. My uncle was actually the first (in my family) to start, and one night my grandparents went out of town and my dad ended up driving his other car. He ended up just picking it up after that, and now it’s been kind of mine, his and my uncle’s thing since then.”