Racine Lutheran athlete Eric Oertel does not like to brag.
Stating he had "between 300 and 340 yards rushing" in last week's 54-20 win over Horicon may sound like he is gushing. But his emphasis on his team and focus on the season ahead, and the fact that he rushed for 362 yards, not between 300 and 340, shows that Oertel is a star truly not worried about individual accomplishments.
Racine Lutheran is 2-0 heading into Thursday's home opener against Greendale Martin Luther. Oertel is playing both ways as a running back and linebacker, and hoping the winning ways continue.
"We were picked to be in the middle of the conference," Oertel said. "But the way we have been playing and practicing, we have a chance to get into the playoffs with a high seed. I am just hoping to lead our team to somewhere good my last year. Every year we have made it to the second round or better, I think this year will be no different. We have a lot of young players that are making big plays, it is always good to have that."
Oertel has one FBS offer, from Washington State. Oertel said the offer came about a month after the Cougar coaches made a Spring visit to his school.
"They have been good in the past, the Pac-10 has been a dominant conference," Oertel said. "Right now Washington State is not what they use to be. They are rebuilding. They have a lot of good freshmen. They are red-shirting a lot of guys from that class. They will recruit well again this year. I want to win, and I would love to help them get back to winning over the next five years."
Oertel said he is getting some contact from Wisconsin, Stanford, and Illinois, but nothing "really huge right now." He has yet to visit Washington State. He added an offer from North Dakota this week.
"I am focused on my season," Oertel stated. "With recruiting, I have been thinking to see how the season plays out. Maybe I will pick up a couple of other offers. I also want to be able to wait to take my visits. With a school like Washington State, I want to visit and see what the school is like. We are thinking maybe the weekend of November 14th for the UCLA game. But if my season keeps going, I may get more offers during that time."
Racine Lutheran would have to advance to the state semifinals for Oertel's season to change his visit plans to Washington State. Though Oertel wants to visit Pullman, he wold gladly change his schedule for a deep run into the playoffs.
"The Washington State coaches are really understanding of that. They know my team comes first, so I have to focus on that. I just really want to get out to a game at Washington State. They want me to see that game-day environment. If we can't make it, so be it. I will get out there eventually."