By Jon Esken
Lakes has produced several high school football All-Americans over the decades. This fact has attracted a lot of talent and national attention to Lakes. Along with those talented young teenagers are those student-athletes that live in the shadows of athletic superiority. They wait and work for their opportunity to excel.
Lakes’ Rob Reiten is one of those athletes. Over the last 2 football seasons, Rob has been thrust into the starting quarterback role during crucial times. Each opportunity was his time to excel. This preseason, as in the past, Rob has been working to excel on the field because in the classroom he’s among the top students at Lakes.
Q: Last season, as a junior, you were once again thrust into a starting role because Jaiave Magalei was injured. You weren’t able to lead the Lancers to victory. How are you planning to improve your skills from last season?
A: Since then, I have been trying hard to improve the areas that I feel I need to improve on in order to help the team in any way that I can on the field, whether I am starting, switching off, or have to go in as a backup, I need to be ready to perform the best that I can, and that has to be better than I was last year.
Q: Lakes Football has been disappointing over the last 3 seasons; its record 15 wins and 16 losses. How can you help enhance Lakes Football as a senior?
A: Our last few years were definitely not good representations of what Lakes football wants to be. We had lots of great talent, and practicing alongside top caliber players was a great experience, however we just couldn’t figure it out and piece everything together correctly. We all worked hard but just didn’t have a special connection like the one that is emerging this year. I feel that we are ready this year, ready to put in the work and fight as a brotherhood out on the field, which is something that can’t be stopped. It is our responsibility to bring Lakes football to its former glory, and be successful, and to do this we must work hard to avoid setbacks, be leaders everywhere we are, and get better everyday and we will be successful.
Q: In the past, when Lakes Football lost a key player (Sione Potoa’e, Nick Webster and others) to injury or poor performance in the classroom, Lakes Football has collapsed in games. Is it because the team isn’t deep enough, the coaches haven’t prepared the 2s or the 2s aren’t prepared to step up?
A: I believe that the coaches prepare the 2s as much as they can. I’ve found out in my experience that there is nothing that can prepare you for a Varsity game more than Varsity experience, which is hard to distribute during the season.
Q: As an informal team leader, how will you make sure that every offensive/defensive player is ready to play Lakes Football on Friday nights?
A: Of course your team mates will always look up to leaders who set a good example. A great leader makes others around them better. I try to always set a good example and make sure I am always prepared for what’s ahead, and keep everyone else focused on the bigger picture.
Q: What universities football program have showed interest in your football skills?
A: A couple have shown little interest, but I prefer to not disclose that information.
Q: What will you do to gain attention of university football programs?
A: The most important thing this season, beyond personal attention, would be to lead my team in every way I can to achieve our goals and become successful this year and bring Lakes Football to its former glory. From a personal standpoint, being very grateful to be in a program with with the assistance of the coaches, the Lakes Football Booster Club, Da Lakewoodian and alumni, hopefully I will gain more exposure.
Q: Where would you like to play football in the future?
A: My mind is very open to where I would play football in the future. I would consider my grades to be quite exceptional, as I always put grades first as they will always take me further than football can, which would help me in the case of gaining academic scholarships or walk-ons to schools I want to play for.
A: Our coaches, an Lakes alum and Lancer supporters are helping many of players gain more exposure to the media. Most of this stuff is new to me, but I’m gaining more experience with marketing myself.
Q: Since you don’t have recruiting profiles on the main prep recruiting websites, have you filled out the recruiting questionnaires on your preferred programs’ website?
A: I have filled out a few questionnaires for basic information for recruiters from a few programs.
Q: What’s your GPA and ACT/SAT score?
A: 3.8, GPA, always trying to increase it. I took the SAT in June and scored an 1850 which is good, but I can definitely do better, so I plan to study a lot more and take it again in October
Q: What will 2015 Lakes Football accomplish at the end of 2015?
A: We have many goals this year, but to sum it all up, we will be great this year, much better than we have been in the past few years.
Q: The Lakes Football Booster Club is trying to raise money to send Lakes Lancers student-athletes that show the greatest GPA improvement and the highest GPA to specialty camps, like the Manning QB camp, Trench camp and Malloy/Kearse camp. How would that impact the development of players? How would that opportunity effect your academic focus?
A: Camps are great, I’ve been to many, and they have made me better in a lot of ways, and having fellow team mates there with me made the experiences even more enjoyable. Having a requirement such as higher GPA will teach players that having good grades will have its rewards.