With end in sight, Kersten reflects on football career


Terrin Waack

Senior Emerson Kersten (number 50) wraps up an opposing running back.

Terrin Waack, Staff Writer

Who exactly are the boys that run around with the pigskin day in and day out? The ones that bring our entire community together every weekend? The ones that wear our school name with pride out on that football field? The ones that have worked so hard to get us exactly where we are now – the playoffs? Who are the boys that make up our Cary-Grove football team?

It’s time to acknowledge a certain player who has been a part of the football team since his freshman year. However, this isn’t about his dreams and goals for the team or the season; this is about getting to know the actual player under the helmet. Who wears the number 50 jersey each Friday night under the stadium lights? Senior Emerson Kersten.

As the season comes to an end, Kersten has time to reflect back on his past four years at Cary-Grove and on the football team.

“I think I’m going to miss the fans and everything – the whole community,” the starting defensive lineman

Superfan Carly Kissner shows her support for Kersten during a game early this season.
Superfan Carly Kissner shows her support for Kersten during a game early this season.

said. “How everyone is behind you and just like the whole sense of community, just kind of the whole games and everything.”

Over the years, Kersten has had many opportunities to play on the field, but the excitement never wears off for him.

“Well, I know it’s always exciting going out there and playing as a team and it’s cool seeing everyone you go to school with being there to support you and the whole fan base and what not,” he said. “That kind of just gets you going. I love having Mike Sutherland on the sidelines because even though he doesn’t play, he still gets reall

Kersten smiles as he celebrates a win with the supportive C-G community he loves.
Kersten smiles as he celebrates a win with the supportive C-G community he loves.

y excited and it’s awesome.”

Not only does Kersten love his team, he also loves the support he and the team receives from the fan base that never disappoints to be there loud and proud. One of his favorite rituals that Cary-Grove has is having the team run through the band, cheerleaders, and pommies all lined up before the game starts.

“Just running out with the band and the fans – all the people really – makes it really exciting as well. Having everyone there like that gets me really pumped up.”

Someone who knows much about cheering for Kersten would be his designated superfan, senior Carly Kissner.

“This year has been really great watching the Trojans play and being able to finally superfan in the front row,” Kissner said. “What makes this season so much better, though, would have to be superfanning for Emerson. Watching Emerson play so well on the field makes me so proud —  not only as his superfan but as his best friend. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be superfanning for.”

Of course Kersten isn’t oblivious to all of the love for the team.

“Going to shake the hands of all the people after the game along the fence, win or lose, is something we always do so that is really cool,” he said. “Even if we lose, they are still there to back us up and show support which is really nice and doesn’t go unnoticed.”

However, the fans aren’t out there on the field right next to the players play after to play to pick them up. All they have is each other – a team. When something goes wrong on the field, you don’t find the boys giving up and calling it a day; you see them fighting back harder than ever.

“That’s a really important part – getting to the next play if something bad happens,” Kersten said. “So I kind of just tell everyone to stay calm and that there is still time to correct those mistakes that we made.”

Kersten will never give up on his team and his team will never give up on each other. As the season comes to an end, for some, there’s still next year; for the seniors, this is the end. What’s next?

“Well, I am definitely going to college,” Kersten said of his plans. “Where? I’m not sure. Maybe Northern Illinois or Illinois State University. I’m not planning on playing football. I’m planning to just go study, maybe go into something like business or communications and just go there for academics.”

Kersten is setting his eyes on his future, but memories of being a Cary-Grove Trojan will never dull.

“I have a memorable story that I’d like to share. When Coach Miller was at the game and we all saw him before it – the South game – and that really pumped us up because it showed that he came out to support us. It was like we were playing for him and then after the game, when we won, we shook his hand and everything which was pretty cool to see him tearing up and seeing him so  happy that he could make it out to see the game.”

And with that, it can clearly be seen that not only are the Trojans a good football team, they bring a sense of community to our little town that brings everyone to the games.