It is likely the North St. Paul Polars' football program knew they were going to have a hard time duplicating 2015's Section championship. They lost many leaders off of the 8-3 team, but a one-win season was not what lineman Corey Guenther was expecting. Hidden in a tough season were at least a couple of good signs for the 2017 season. One is the Polars are returning some key players, and two is one of those players – Guenther – is poised to take a big step and become one of the top linemen in the state.
“It was obviously a rough season,” Guenther said. “We lost some seniors who were good leaders. We only had a few seniors who played last year.”
Guenther – who starts both ways – plays both defensive tackle and defensive end.
“I think the best part of our team was our defensive line,” Guenther said. “We were good against the run, but could get after the quarterback too. Most of us were underclassmen, so it will be exciting next year. I think we are going to be a lot better this year.”
“I think I am fast and can get off the ball faster than the offensive linemen,” Guenther continued. “I was able to get my hands on the inside to allow me to do whatever move I wanted to do.”
Guenther told northstarfootballnews.com that the offense ran the ball 90 percent of the time.
“We ran a lot of belly and traps,” the left tackle said. “Those were our go-to plays.”
“What I think makes me succeed,” Guenther added, “is when I pull I am fast and can get to the defender and kick out the defensive end or linebacker. I can get off the ball fast.”
As a sophomore, Guenther started at guard for St. Paul Como Park. The move from one school to the other and the move from the inside to the outside of the offensive line both went well for the soon to be senior.
“The hardest part was going from blocking the bigger interior linemen then going to block the more athletic defensive ends and linebackers was different,” said the 6'3″ 280-pound two-way player. “The blocking schemes are different too, but it wasn't too hard.”
During the winter, Guenther made his second straight trip to the state wrestling tournament.
“Last year I qualified for State, but lost right away,” Guenther said. “This year I took 4th. I ended the season with a 33-5 record. What made me better than most heavyweights was being more athletic than most of them and I was in better condition than most the guys I wrestle.”
A good mat wrestler, northstarfootballnews.com's 111th ranked Class of 2018 prospect tends to rack up points by using a version of an armbar.
This spring Guenther – who likes to bass fish – was in the weight room focusing on bench, clean and squats as well as speed workouts.
This summer he attended the Minnesota Big Man camp and has invites to a number of other schools' camps.
“So far the school that is most interested in me is Concordia-St. Paul,” said the Polar. “They offered me last Thursday.”
Guenther expects to have to move back inside to center or guard in college. He also should expect the Polars to win more games in 2017 and as the wins for the team increase, he should expect the number of offers he receives to increase as well.