Posted On: 02/13/20 10:01 PM
The Stillwater Ponies, nearing the Wisconsin border, has put out some of the best recruits of the decade of the eastern St. Paul suburbs. From Brooks Carroll to Nate Ricci, Derrick Thingvold to Peter Palacek, and Stephen Wagner to Zach Knox, Stillwater grads can and have gone on to more than successful college careers, and the next in line to ball out in the red and white of the Ponies has shown himself and is ready to be recruited. Erik Roettger is that athlete, and the 6’0, 185 lb. WR has had to overcome a heckuva injury as an underclassman to shine under Friday night lights as one of Stillwater’s most dangerous offense I’ve threats. He also has had an interesting path to the WR position, and his versatility within the Stillwater program shows great promise as a potential college football prospect. With dreams of balling out in the NSIC or MIAC, Roetgger was kind of enough to give Northstar Football News some of his time to talk about the obstacles he’s overcome to start for Stillwater, what he thinks he does well as a WR, his dream school
The Stillwater Ponies, nearing the Wisconsin border, has put out some of the best recruits of the decade of the eastern St. Paul suburbs. From Brooks Carroll to Nate Ricci, Derrick Thingvold to Peter Palacek, and Stephen Wagner to Zach Knox, Stillwater grads can and have gone on to more than successful college careers, and the next in line to ball out in the red and white of the Ponies has shown himself and is ready to be recruited. Erik Roettger is that athlete, and the 6’0, 185 lb. WR has had to overcome a heckuva injury as an underclassman to shine under Friday night lights as one of Stillwater’s most dangerous offense I’ve threats. He also has had an interesting path to the WR position, and his versatility within the Stillwater program shows great promise as a potential college football prospect. With dreams of balling out in the NSIC or MIAC, Roetgger was kind of enough to give Northstar Football News some of his time to talk about the obstacles he’s overcome to start for Stillwater, what he thinks he does well as a WR, his dream school (that happens to be in Minnesota), and more in this NFN “Recruiting Report.” Junior Season Highlights
NFN: Hello and thank you for your time, Erik. Please begin by telling us a little about yourself, when you began to playing football & what you love about the game, and anything else you deem relevant!
Roettger: “I was born in Stillwater, MN been living here my whole life. I have been playing since 2nd grade. I love sports and my favorite outside of organized sports has got to be ping pong. I also love chicken, especially hot wings that’s my favorite. I love the competitive nature that football brings and you can tell after awhile who’s gonna whine about a play or who’s gonna get back up and get after it the next play I love the brotherhood in the game as well I love practice to so much a lot of guys just can’t wait till it’s over and you can just tell that they don’t take this game seriously and who’s willing put in the work and who’s not. I’m 6”0 187 lbs and have a 285 squat.”
NFN: Great. Now get into 2018 for us. What were some highlights and lowlights from the season?
Roettger: “Ah 2018 I was playing safety, and I don’t remember much from that season other than the fact that I dislocated my knee in a game and it was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life so that was definitely a low. Highlights were just the first couple weeks in August. Just the straight grind, I love that, especially just the sun beating down on you. It’s one of my favorite parts of the season because you really see who’s developing and who’s been working in the offseason to get better at there position. What I learned from it is that I am not a fast kid never have been so I made sure I bulked up over the offseason but to actually have some muscle tone for my junior year because those are the days where you running on the field on Friday nights when everybody from school is there and everyone from the community is there to support the program.”
NFN: Interesting. So how did you find your way to WR?
Roettger: “So throughout the whole summer I was playing DB and I got to the realization that man, there’s a couple guys in front of me that I’m probably not gonna beat out just because they’re seniors. And so wide receiver I thought was perfect because through my football career I’ve always bounced around from the two positions. So the first day of camp in August I went to the offensive meetings. Our big thing was we weren’t all that big, we had really not that much size so we knew everybody needed to be in the weight room everyday if you’re not playing a winter sport. I like the way everyone competes everybody’s trying to reserve their starting spot on that varsity roster and I think that’s what makes one and other better.”
NFN: Nice. So coming into the season you really had to figure out the system, something I’m sure takes some time. What offense do y’all run? And how did the process happen for you to start playing varsity? Also, what are you planning on improving this offseason?
Roettger: “So we run a 10 personal offense (one back, no TE, 4 WRs) so when I switched to WR there’s four spots for that position and I had no i idea which one I should play, so our OC told me you got some size, how bout you go to the Y position? And so there was only two of us, me and Ty Thureson. He’s a very big kid who’s going D1 to play at Providence for lacrosse. I thought to myself, “well shoot Im not gonna get any varsity playing time now”, but it’s the best decision staying at that position. Ty helped me tremendously and we built a very close relationship throughout the season, I love that kid. So the first three games I’m on the JV squad, and only playing kick return for varsity which was the only time I saw the field. On JV they moved me to TE a little bit. But in week three best I had the best football game I’ve ever had, and I stood out and I’m 100% confident to say that without trying to come off as cocky, the coaches knew I had a great game and I was proud of myself of how I practiced that week and things really paid off. So going into week 4 homecoming week against Woodbury , it’s big time, and like on Wednesday Ty gets a little hurt during practice so he goes Ruck you gotta go in I can’t go (his nickname for me was Ruck Show, Ruck for short) so after practice he (Ty) comes out from the trainer and goes Ruck your starting on Friday I can’t go and at first I was in shock. Me starting in my first varsity game on HOMECOMING. It was my first game and I feel like some people could tell I was just so uncomfortable and just a horrible horrible game we played that day especially on homecoming night. The next week though going up against Mounds View, I think we’re ranked 5th in state, and it was the most crazy game ever been apart of probably highlight game of the year for sure. Coming back after a blowout loss against Woodbury on homecoming, to a OT thriller to crash their homecoming was just amazing. I think my game plan is to attack create more yards with the ball after the catch and just be a straight play maker who is always reliable in any situation and I believe I proved that to the coaches in the 2019 season.”
NFN: Baller. So what’s going on with recruiting? Who are some schools you’re interested in and hearing from? And what are you looking for in a college?
Roettger: I am interested in UMD, and it is top on my list but haven’t been contacted by them. Bemidji is another school I’m interested in, and I’m going to a junior day soon and excited. I’m interested in a couple D3 schools in Wisconsin, but I haven’t been contacted by many schools yet except Saint Johns contacted me about a recruiting questionnaire. I am also interested in Saint Thomas, but it all comes down to the area and especially a great relationship with the head coach that’s a big thing for me, getting connected with him whoever it is. I am gonna be attending a couple camps this summer.”
NFN: Good plan. So last but not least, what do you think you do well as a WR and makes you dangerous?
Roettger: “My ability to catch the ball, and not drop any balls make my hands my biggest part of my game and that’s what I pride my self in. Besides not dropping passes, my route running is something I work on every Sunday and Saturday at 8 and I can say I’ve improve a lot since the season ended.”
Thank you for your time, Erik! And good luck in 2020. Stay tuned for any news on the rising senior here at Northstar Football News.