Hrubik, G-Men aim for playoffs

GARRETTSVILLE — For the past two seasons, Garfield has fell just short of reaching the postseason.

Connor Hrubik and a group of energized seniors look to change that.

“I think we left a lot out there,” Hrubik said. “We lost a couple games toward the end of the season that we were winning the whole time that we should’ve pulled out and won. That left a sour taste in my mouth, and we’re not going to let those last-quarter losses haunt us this year.”

Despite falling just short, the defensive back and tailback has high hopes for the team.

“I feel pretty decent this year,” Hrubik said. “I feel like we have a really skilled group and I think we can go really far if we keep our heads in it. I think if our line holds it together everyone else is going to be pretty solid. Just keep it at that, and we’ll be good.”

Garfield has a unique situation where they have a platoon of running backs, not just one or two guys like many other teams. There’s a risk of having guys battling for carries so hard it becomes a detriment, but Hrubik says there are no issues in that regard.

“Any of our guys has the chance to take it to the house every time they touch the ball,” he said. “You’d think it would be rough fighting for carries, but on this team no one argues. Whoever is having a hot day is going to get the ball, and everyone else is fine with it. Whatever is best for the team.”

That mentality is fitting of a leader, and Hrubik has taken to his role leading this team. His main focus is making sure everyone is at practice.

“I’m just making sure that everyone gets here every day,” Hrubik said. “If someone needs a ride, I’ll pick them up. As long as they’re here and working hard, that’s the main thing. Just show up every day. No days off.”

The G-Men have a murderer’s row for a schedule this season, facing LaBrae, JFK and Windham before their conference slate in the Portage Trail Conference begins.

“We’ve had tough schedules for a while,” Hrubik said. “We’ve faced Cuyahoga Heights in the past, and we held our own against them. That was a very winnable game for us. Teams like JFK and Windham are definitely tough matchups, but I think we’re way more skilled.”

As for college, Hrubik didn’t plan to play beyond this season but has garnered some interest from schools. As of now, he’s not going to shut any doors.

“I talked to the coach of Baldwin-Wallace, and there’s a couple other schools that have come,” Hrubik said. “I had no real intention of playing past high school, but we’ll have to see how the season goes. I think college will be tough enough without playing sports, so I’m not sure yet.”

In school, he plans on being a marketing major but hasn’t committed to that just yet.

When asked what his goal was this year, his answer was simple: Playoffs. When asked what his goals were as an individual, he has two.

“I want to get 1,000 yards hopefully and to get a lot of interceptions,” Hrubik said. “I’m not sure about the rushing record, but I think it’s all in range for me if I keep at it.”