By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Standing at 6’6, 260 pounds, Joe Grundhoffer is seen as a physical force on the football field; though his strengths ultimately come through in his leadership.
“Big” Joe has been playing sports since a young age, and says it’s become the biggest part of his life. His leadership on the field has become multi-dimensional, as he plays tight end on offense and tackle on defense. Grundhoffer, however, sees both positions as equally important when it comes to picking a side.
“Defense is a little more fun, because you play what comes natural to you,” said Grundhoffer. “Offense is more rewarding because it’s more of a team effort — everyone does their job on a successful offense, but one person can make a play on defense and you’re good. Defense is more fun, but offense is more satisfying to have success in.”
Grundhoffer will step on the field for his final year at Assumption, as he will lace up his cleats next year for Division I-AA school Lafayette University, one of the oldest college football programs in the United States. When posed the question of if he’s feeling any pressure with the prospect of facing historic programs the likes of Georgetown, Lehigh and Fordham Universities, “Big” Joe’s response was a simple “not really.”
“I might be a playmaker for my team, but last year we had a defensive player of the year at linebacker,” said Grundhoffer. “So there’s not really any pressure, it just means that our team has to play better, and I’m willing to put in the work.”
Regardless of future college career ambitions, Grundhoffer is fully focused on this year, and bringing home a championship for the Royals.
“This senior year I want to focus on being the best teammate, mentor and leader for the rest of the team,” said Grundhoffer. “Team-wise, we feel that we have the talent to see success and win a conference championship.”
Assumption opens up their season on Friday night at home against Necedah.