The familial line

Photo by Robb QuinnLa Porte’s Collin Bergquist carries for a touchdown in the third quarter of last Friday night’s home game against Lake Central.

La PORTE — For Collin Bergquist, being Nolan Lorenz's brother has been both a blessing and kind of a curse.

On the one hand, Lorenz has immensely helped his younger brother. On the other hand, Bergquist has to live up to the expectations of what Lorenz achieved as La Porte quarterback.

Bergquist is striving to make a name for himself as the new Slicers signal caller, while at the same time welcoming Lorenz's continued help.

“It's big,” Bergquist said of following in Lorenz's footsteps. “I've got some big shoes to fill, especially since he's my brother. I've always kind of been in his shadow. But it's my time to shine now.”

Lorenz, a former Slicers star quarterback and 2018 graduate who served as a full-time assistant coach last year while attending Indiana University-South Bend, was influential in his brother's beginnings in the sport.

Watching Lorenz play piqued Bergquist's interest in the game. After seeing him play a couple years, he thought, 'Maybe I want to go out and try it?'

Bergquist began playing football in sixth grade at Boston Middle School. He's now the Slicers' starting varsity quarterback after being named the starter two weeks ago.

"He's the one who made me want to be a quarterback," Bergquist said of Lorenz. "We always go out and work all the time together. He teaches me all the steps and motions, and when you drop back, how to do the three-step drops and the five-step drops. He just teaches me all the mechanics. He's a big mechanics guy."

After playing all of last season and starting this season at running back, Bergquist inherited the signal caller duties Sept. 13 at Chesterton.

While he struggled in his debut, Bergquist improved drastically last week against Lake Central, when he carried the Slicers to their first win of the season, 31-14.

“There's a huge difference in starting at quarterback your second game as opposed to your first game,” La Porte coach Jeremy Lowery said. “It really showed in the results in how he played. He's a great athlete and at some point, you've got to put your athletes in positions where they can help your team the most. That's exactly what we've done. Starting off, you take a really good athlete. He's also a really intelligent player. You put those two things together. Now it's just a matter of reps, reps, reps.”

 

Bergquist played signal caller during the spring and into the early summer, then was moved back to slot back due in part to some of the team's personnel issues. He began the season there before the shift to QB in Week 3 against the Trojans. 

“When we brought him back to quarterback, his experience at slot made him a much better quarterback,” Lowery said. “He had a much better understaning of what we're trying to do in our scheme. And he hasn't looked back.

“He's an explosive runner, good vision, and he gets extra yards, all things that are very vital in what we're trying to do in our type of offense.”

In five games, Bergquist has rushed for 251 yards, good for nearly a 5-yards-per-carry average. to go with three touchdowns. He finished with 73 yards last week, including a 14-yard TD run early in the third quarter to push the lead to 17 points.

“I see myself getting better and better each week,” he said. “Mentally and physically, honestly. When we watch film, I can see my steps and my mesh getting better with the fullbacks. And how mentally I can understand the reps more. And in practice, I just know what to do.”

Bergquist played signal caller at Boston from sixth through eighth grades. He added he had a great quarterback coach who really helped him understand to play the position.

Besides thriving on the gridiron, wrestling and playing baseball, Bergquist has improved his academics this semester as well, posting all 'A' grades.

"I take big-time pride in my academics," he said. "You have to have academics to go any further in the sport at all."

Lowery recognizes that Bergquist is an amiable, driven student-athlete who's a quality role model.

“He's very enjoyable,” Lowery said. “He's always got a smile on his face. He's a tough kid. He's a competitor. He wants to win. He's got all the characteristics we want in the leader of our offense."

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