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Sports

Elliot Royer plans to be busy for Bulldogs

Two-way starter will be key to R-B extending playoff streak

Riverside-Brookfield's Zach Vaia runs the ball during their game against IC Catholic Prep Sept. 29, 2017.
Riverside-Brookfield's Zach Vaia runs the ball during their game against IC Catholic Prep Sept. 29, 2017.

Elliot Royer is ready for a busy season.

The Riverside-Brookfield two-way player enters his senior season anticipating rarely leaving the field.

A starting linebacker and tight end, Royer is a vital player in the Bulldogs’ quest to extend their streak to five straight winning seasons. Last season, Riverside-Brookfield posted an 8-2 record, the program’s third consecutive season of seven or more wins.

At this point of his career, Royer said he should be adjusted to playing heavy minutes, but he’s still adapting to the grueling demands of playing two high-profile positions.

“This year, as well as the year before, I was playing both sides of the ball, so you would think I would be used to it by now,” Royer said. “But it’s tough. I’m trying to do my best and give 100 percent effort every play. It gets tiring quickly, but in the end, it’s worth it.”

At 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, Royer is a big threat in the passing game, while his size and strength deliver a big blow on defense. Riverside-Brookfield coach Brendan Curtin said Royer is among the leaders for a team with mostly inexperienced players.

“Elliot has really good size and is able to stretch the field vertically,” Curtin said. “He’s able to go up and get the ball and has reliable hands. He’s a late bloomer, but he’s a really smart kid and does really well in the classroom. We are a young team, so we will need his production and leadership.”

This season, Royer said he’s playing in a new defensive scheme, at least in positioning on the field.

He’s also been gearing up for an enhanced role on the offense after the graduation of quarterback Hunter Hughes.

“We lost some amazing players from last year [on offense] who helped us make it to the playoffs,” Royer said. “I’ve had to step it up as a receiver because I’ll get thrown to much more often this season.”

Royer said he’s received some interest from colleges and is weighing his options. Football is important, but Royer said the main goal is finding a college in his major of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“I really want to focus on my career in college,” he said. “If I go to a smaller Division III school, I would considering playing, though.”

After finishing second in the Metro Suburban Blue to two-time state champion IC Catholic Prep last season, the Bulldogs are aiming to unseat the Knights. The Bulldogs suffered an embarrassing 45-0 loss at home to the Knights in Week 6.

Despite the heavy graduation losses, Royer said the seniors don’t plan on ending the program’s playoff streak.

“I just want to make sure I don’t have any regrets,” Royer said. “I don’t want to end the year feeling I did not give my 100 percent every play so our team has the best chance of going 1-0 every week.

“I know our team feels the same way, and that’s what makes us a contender. All of us are pulling in the same direction with the best for the team in mind.”

Riverside-Brookfield Bulldogs

Coach: Brendan Curtin

2017 record: 8-2

Top players

Elliot Royer sr. TE/LB

Dominic Rowe sr. TE/LB

Joseph Shelven sr. QB

Zach Vaia sr. WR

Luke Gentile jr. WR/DB

Jake Stewart jr. OL/DL

Chris Doherty jr. RB/DB

2018 Schedule

Aug. 24 Morton 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 31 Wauconda 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 7 at McNamara 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 14 Aurora Christian 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 21 Aurora C.C. 7:15 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Norridge 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 5 at St. Francis 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 12 Wheaton Academy 7:15 p.m.

Oct. 19 at IC Catholic Prep 7:15 p.m.

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