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The Drill: Paulzine leads a prolific MCC football team

Quarterback Abe Paulzine of the Murray County Central Rebels is stepping up, like his teammates, as the program bounces back from the injury bug

Murray County Central football player Abe Paulzine practices his throwing technique.
Murray County Central football player Abe Paulzine practices his throwing technique.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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SLAYTON -- Life can be strange. One minute you’ve got the world wrapped around your finger, and the next minute the world is bouncing you up and down like a yo-yo. Or it might be like the actor Sam Elliott said in popular film, The Big Lebowski: “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you.”

Dr. Jared Harwood of Sanford Worthington Orthopedics and Sports Medicine enjoys working individually with patients, but he's also a strong believer in total team care.

And I have no idea what he meant by that.

Regardless, the thought comes to mind when we ponder our recent interview with Murray County Central senior Abe Paulzine, who quarterbacks the very talented Rebel high school football team. When we interviewed Abe for a Drill episode, the Rebs -- who posted an 11-1 record in 2021 -- were riding high, having won their first three games while looking every bit like they have another contender on their hands.

Later that week, however, they lost their outstanding running back, Carter Benda, to injury in the first quarter of a loss to Tracy-Milroy-Balaton. You just never know these days.

Regardless, again: That weekend after the injury head coach Patrick Freeman spoke about the team’s new situation as an opportunity for others to step up. The Rebels, who bounced back with a 35-13 victory over St. James Area on Friday, always like a challenge, and so does Paulzine. Against the Saints, he passed for two touchdowns and ran for another.

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He is a three-sport star at MCC, playing football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. He’s an intelligent athlete, and a leader. He’s a productive scorer on the basketball floor, and his team is always in good shape when he has the ball in his hands. He’s stepping it up as a passer in football. His pitching helped MCC go deep in the baseball postseason last spring.

He hones his baseball skills in the summer with the Hadley Buttermakers amateur team, which he sees as a learning experience.

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“Playing for the Hadley Buttermakers, it’s a blast. I really enjoy it,” he said. “You know, it’s a different level than high school. It’s a lot more serious. … Baseball’s a sport, you gotta have fun with it. So I feel that it helps improve my game even more to see more better athletes. All those guys have seen way more baseball that I have in my lifetime.”

Paulzine may have been a prophet when, in his Globe interview, he talked up the MCC football team’s offensive capabilities. And he didn’t forget the other side of the ball. “Defense is right behind (the offense), though. Our defense can be up there, you know, helping out our offense. If offense has a bad game, the defense will pick it right back up.”

Good teams embrace new challenges. So it is with MCC football.

Our video of MCC quarterback Abe Paulzine is online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: Your role with the team is the same this year, as far as you being the quarterback. But you’re throwing more, is that right?

ANSWER: “Coach wanted us to improve our passing game from last year. I think that’s where we struggled. This year we’re adding a lot of boots (bootlegs), a lot of throwing on the run, which is all right. I think it’s definitely helping our team splitting off of running and throwing the ball. It’s 50-50 more. It gets the defense off guard.”

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QUESTION: Has it led to some improvement on your part?

ANSWER: “I feel that throwing-wise, I’ve definitely improved. I do a lot more drills, a lot more on the run, or a lot more just making sure I get the right reads -- hitting my guys in stride.”

QUESTION: What are some of the things you like to do when you’re not doing sports?

ANSWER: “Outside of sports, some of my interests are hunting, fishing, hanging out with family. As a family we do a lot, just trying to do something every weekend, and something different. Just go have fun with the family. Make some memories.”

Related Topics: FOOTBALLTHE DRILL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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