Derek Elsholz: Student athlete

(Staff photo/Mike Harvey)
Derek Elsholz recalling plays after a tough practice at Bemis Field on Aug. 14. Elsholz has to memorize plays prior to all games in order to be victorious.

     As a student athlete for Notre Dame Preparatory, Derek Elsholz has many responsibilities on and off the field that have helped him to transform his life in a positive manner. 


     This year, Elsholz has plenty of pressure as the starting quarterback of NDP to live up to certain expectations from coaches and teachers. The past two years, NDP has lost in the state championship game to Centennial High School. This year, the Saints hope that the third time’s the charm and redeem themselves from past losses.


     When asked about any upcoming pressures, Elsholz said, “There is definitely pressure coming into the season because we have lost the last two state titles. Yet the biggest pressure is keeping our undefeated regular season streak alive, while trying to live up to the image of our program. There is always a lot of talk on how we aren’t as good as previous years, but we continue to play for each other and our school while knowing that we have what it takes to bring home the trophy this year.”


     Along with the pressures of being the star quarterback and face of the football team, Elsholz has many academic obligations that he needs to fulfill to maintain his status as a top-level student athlete. Elsholz takes the most rigorous courses available at NDP, such as Advanced Placement Calculus BC and AP English Literature and Composition.


     Although Elsholz has a very preoccupied life, his coach, George Prelock, still believes in his commitment to winning: “Derek is extremely coachable and eager to learn. His potential is extremely high,” said Prelock.


     Elsholz may be able to balance taking such advanced courses while enduring difficult practices in the afternoon heat, but it is definitely not easy. In fact, Elsholz often struggles with procrastination, like many other students.


     “It’s very difficult to maintain my grades in the rigorous classes I am placed in because of my lack of time for studying and doing homework. However, I hold myself accountable and in a higher expectation, so I do what needs to be done in order to maintain high marks in the classroom while playing on the field,” said Elsholz.


     All of this work on and off the field may overwhelm several people, but for Elsholz, it’s a different story; he still finds time to manage his social life. What is most impressive is the feedback and recognition Elsholz’s friends see from him.


     Cameron Hrabak, a friend of Elsholz, said, “I see an improvement in Derek’s personal life due to his involvement in certain activities, especially football, as it has enabled him to create new friendships with those on the team.”


     Balancing many activities at once is often very difficult, but it is shown that with commitment and eagerness, the heavy workload can improve a student’s personal life in many aspects. It works for Elsholz, and it can work for many others as well.


     Elsholz can inspire and motivate other students to become better versions of themselves through setting an example of what a true leader does on a daily basis.