No one ever wants to say a season was a rebuilding year. The point of sports is to try to win every game. The Monticello Magic went into every game obviously trying to win, but with the lack of experience…
No one ever wants to say a season was a rebuilding year. The point of sports is to try to win every game. The Monticello Magic went into every game obviously trying to win, but with the lack of experience at key positions and a new schedule filled with new teams of which to learn, the Magic struggled through a one-win season. Mixed into what seemed to be a frustrating season was the positives of young players getting experience and being set up for bigger things in 2018. One of the players who fit that mold is junior Alex Otto. Otto took on new roles on both the offense and defense and set himself up for a big senior season.
“We had quite a few junior starters, and those junior starters had little to no experience,” Otto said. “It was tough being put with harder competition with new teams to learn about. All and all the competition has set us up to expect more out of ourselves for next season.”
The Magic had success when they could run the ball efficiently, could run the clock and didn’t turn the ball over to put their defense in tight situations.
Otto was one of the juniors with minimal varsity experience.
“All and all I feel my season went well. Defense started to click for me this year,” the junior explained. “I was always mainly an offensive guy. I started to understand what offenses were trying to do more this year. I started to recognize things more quickly.”
“On offense, I could have done better,” Otto told northstarfootballnews.com. “I had a broken thumb and that limited my carries, and I wasn’t able to catch the ball.”
He hurt the finger in two-a-days and was a limited practice participant the rest of the pre-season. Otto was fitted with a cast that broke each of the first four games of the season. He didn’t let anyone know about it and played through the pain. Because of the extra beating the hand took, the 5’9″ 195-pound junior had surgery immediately after the season.
“It didn’t limit me as much on the defensive side of the ball,” NFN’s 150th-ranked junior said. “On offense it limited me. I couldn’t handle the ball or stiff arm much.”
Despite the injury. Otto still was a capable runner.
“I think I have good vision,” the junior said. “I am not afraid of contact – I run towards the contact and am a good one cut and go runner. I am a good blocker. I am able to pick up blitzes when pass blocking.”
Otto was an inside linebacker in the team’s base 4-4 defense.
“I think I am good at reading the offensive line and picking out route combinations. I am able to make moves to avoid blocks by offensive linemen.”
Because of his finger, his winter was somewhat limited. Normally he wouldn’t play a winter sport even if he was healthy, but was still able to work on the skills he targeted.
“I have been trying to improve my top end speed and my ability to get in and out of cuts – being able to make a move and get out of that cut quickly.”
Outside of the clean, Otto was able to lift and workout without his hand restricting him.
“Our strength coach wants us to pause and the bottom and top of every lift,” Otto explained. “We usually do low reps to work on our explosion.”
This spring he pitches, plays all infield position except for first base and bats 2nd on the 5th ranked Magic’s baseball team.
“Last summer we won a VFW state championship,” the two-sport athlete said. “I have good power. I am hitting over .400 but can also move a runner over if I need to.”
This summer he will continue to play baseball and – although he doesn’t know for sure – plans to go to a handful of football camps in the Midwest as well as some Ivy League schools.
“I have been in contact with Yale, Princeton, St. Johns’, Augsburg, Scholastica, Concordia-St. Paul and Morehead State.”
With a big 2018 season for Otto and his team, his college options and his team’s wins should only increase.