MONMOUTH — Corbin Sedlacek lights up when he talks about football.
“I love the sport. I get to hit people and I get to run. And there’s no better feeling than getting that QB sack and people are screaming your name and I mean, that’s awesome, that’s a great feeling,” he said.
That passion goes beyond the personal glory for the senior at Central High School.
“Football is a sport where you need each other and you have to rely on each other and you have to be able to trust each other,” Sedlacek said. “If you’re not trusting that someone else is doing his job, than you’re messing up your job.”
The Panthers first game is on Sept. 7, hosting Silverton. Sedlacek is looking forward to that one especially.
“It’s always a battle,” he said. “It’s the two biggest dogs in the league. Silverton and West Albany. I can’t wait for those two; we always hit hard — it’s two very tough-nosed teams, so they run right at you and that’s how I like it.”
Sedlacek has competition in his blood.
His older brother Caleb Sedlacek played football and wrestled in high school, where he became the 2018 185-pound state champion.
“I grew up in a home where we competed in a family card game, who would win,” Sedlacek said. “I grew up wanting to win. I have a winning attitude. I want to win and I want to work hard, and even if I’m not winning, I want to be the hardest worker out there, and I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say I worked hard, regardless of a win or a loss.”
Sedlacek attacks wrestling with the same mindset. He took sixth place in the 195-pound bracket last year.
When asked which sport he liked better, he chuckled.
“Football. I love football. Our family jokes that Caleb was a wrestler who played football and I was a football player who wrestled. Wrestling does a lot for football – it feeds into it. I wrestled mainly for football, to get me to be a better football player. I love football, since I was a little kid.”
He said he hopes to make it to the next level.
“It’s been my dream to play collegiately since I was a little kid sitting in the Oregon State University stadium, watching them run and up down the field; they were gods to me,” he said. “I was like, I want to be in that jersey one day, and it would be a dream come true to even play college football, maybe not for OSU, but to go to the next level.”
Head football coach Jeff Centoni said Sedlacek is a natural-born leader.
“He is a senior returning all-league player, who is actively working to buy in, and bring others along, in building our culture of family, accountability, character, and excellence. He is a positive leader who uses both his actions and his voice to encourage, support, and challenge his teammates to work towards greater heights.”
The next three months will be the last with his football family, and Sedlacek is said it’s strange to think about that.
“Since freshman year, we’ve pretty much had the same team, so we’re family now,” he said. “It’s definitely a bit of a weird thing, to be going, ‘hey this is my senior season, this is the last time I’ll be on the field with these guys.’”
His expectations for his final season of high school football: “we want to win. And even if it comes down to it that we’re not winning, we want to be working our butts off every single day and be the hardest-working team on the field.”
It’s also the season that counts above all others – that determines if he gets to that next level.
“It’s the big season. People are looking at you, and it’s the difference between going to college and not,” be said, “and for me I’d love to be going to college and playing ball.”
More importantly, it’s about being with his football brothers.
“The biggest thing for me is, I got my family here and I’m excited to play with them and I’m excited to go as far as we can with them,” he said.