Glenelg's Brosenne reaps the benefits of hard work Back making most of senior season

October 11, 1992|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

Paul Brosenne's credo is simple. Outwork everybody during practice, after practice, then do the same thing on the field come game day.

"You have to do extra work to keep the edge," says Brosenne, Glenelg's 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior halfback.

Midway through the football season, it's safe to say he's onto something. Look at the edge he has on the rest of the county.

Through six games, Brosenne has rushed for a league-leading 948 yards on a league-high 160 carries and has scored nine of Glenelg's 13 touchdowns.

Last week, he produced what might turn out to be the signature effort of his brief high school career. Despite a sore back he hurt while lifting weights, he logged 221 yards and three touchdowns on 41 attempts -- moving him into second place on the school's single-game rushing record list -- to carry the Gladiators to a 22-14 victory.

Under second-year coach Ed Ashwell, Glenelg (5-1 overall, 3-0 league) is off to its best start in years. Last year's 2-8 record is a fading memory. And Brosenne, the hard-nosed leader of few words, is the talk of the team.

"He [Brosenne] is the type of guy you like on your team," said center Marc Bolea. "He isn't cocky, he's just a real good player who keeps a straight head. When he hits a cornerback or a safety once, they aren't going to want it again."

Says sophomore fullback Mike Deming, who spends most of his days blocking for Brosenne: "He's unbelievable. He's a workhorse, and all he wants to do is get better. He makes me look a lot better. I've got to fill some big shoes next year. And all he does is praise us."

Granted, one man does not a turnaround make. A running back goes unnoticed unless his blockers do their jobs, and Glenelg's bigger, stronger offensive line is the most improved part of its team. Yet, Brosenne is putting up the numbers of a one-man team. He has accounted for 82 percent of the Gladiators' rushing yards, 63 percent of their total offense.

"I just try to keep them [his teammates] psyched, and tell them they [Glenelg's opponents] cannot stop us," Brosenne says.

His quiet, workmanlike style has endeared him to his coaches. Brosenne, who has decent speed, would rather run through a tackler than around him. And there is the work ethic. Coaches preach about leading by example, but Ashwell marvels at the real article.

"I've never seen anyone like him. His work habits are unbelievable," Ashwell says. "I knew he was going to be our bread-and-butter guy, but I didn't expect this. Whatever Paul gets, he's worked for."

The season seems like a payback of sorts for Brosenne. The previous two years had not been kind. After a decent freshman season with the junior varsity, he was ruled academically ineligible and did not play as a sophomore. Last year, he broke his ankle in the team's first preseason scrimmage and did not return until the seventh game. He revealed a hint of things to come, however, by gaining 348 yards on 77 carries to lead Glenelg to a 2-2 finish.

"I figured this would be a make-me-or-break-me season," Brosenne says. "I had to do it this year. I want to play college football. I want to have a winning season. I've had two bad seasons, and I wanted to prove something to myself, to make something of myself."

In the off-season, Brosenne committed to an arduous workout schedule, lifting weights five times a week, running a mile and a series of sprints every day. He showed up this summer a little faster and 20 pounds heavier, most of it muscle. He squats 590 pounds, highest on the team. After each practice, he can be found in the weight room and on the track.

And to think Brosenne considered giving up football last year.

"After the injury, I was wondering if maybe God didn't want me to play football," he says. "I was thinking about quitting. But I'm glad I stuck with it."

So are the Gladiators.

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