Posted On: 08/6/19 11:13 PM

Being a contributor at Northstar Football News is an incredibly rewarding job that allows me to help Minnesota preps kickstart and raise awareness for their recruiting. Blake Kowalczyk, a rising senior from Pierz, is a perfect example of this. A fullback/linebacker from AAA powerhouse Pierz in Northern Minnesota, Kowalczyk began playing football in 2nd grade and has since grown to be a productive and tough starter for one of Minnesota’s toughest AAA schools. Standing at 5’10 and weighing in at around 180 lbs., the fullback averaged 6.3 YPC during his 2018 campaign of 46 rushing attempts for 292 yards and five TDs. These stats also don’t include the work Kowalczyk put in blocking opponents and opening holes for his Pioneer teammates. Although traditionally undersized for the fullback position, Kowalczyk’s strength and explosiveness are still evident on his junior year Hudl tape. He hits the hole fast and hard, and keeps his feet moving through contact. Defenders have to guess if he will try to out run them or run over them when he has the ball, and it often takes two to three defenders to finally bring down #30. It is easy to see that he benches 280 lbs., squats 350 lbs., and power cleans 250 lbs. Looking to play college football, the dual sport athlete hasn’t picked up much steam in his recruitment, and after sharing this article with the readers at Northstar Football News, hopefully we can change that. 

Credit: Blake Kowalczyk

A big season for Pierz could really help recruitment for Kowalczyk. They were close to winning it all last year as Kowalczyk told me in an interview for Northstar Football News. He stated that Pierz’s 2018 season was going great until the State semifinal game at U.S. Bank Stadium. By then, the Pioneers’ found themselves 11-0 and rolling off a big victory versus Annandale in the quarterfinals. As he put it, “last year we were doing great until it came down to Rochester Lourdes. We wanted that win bad, we were hungry and we stayed hungry all year like we always have… (but) the mistakes we did as a team during the game whether it was a fumble, missed tackle, missed block, and penalty flags (all made it too difficult to win).” However, the culture at Pierz has been instilled in Kowalczyk, and this has made him a competitive and optimistic football player. He stated that the Pioneers’ always “put a show on for the town. We like to stay hungry because we want more than just one more play or game. We don’t stop playing until the last second ticks to zero.” This culture has definitely made Kowalczyk a better player, and because he also knows how to win, he could be a great addition to a college team. He told me that expectations for this upcoming season is “to be successful and not make the mistakes we did last year.” He also added that “we’ve hit the gym this summer and winter to prepare for a rematch that we want back against Lourdes.” The Pioneers have their goal set, and Kowalczyk has been doing everything he can to help his team and prepare himself for college football. Focusing on his first step off the ball, his power and explosiveness with footwork and speed drills, and hitting the weight room hard are all going to help make him a powerful weapon for the Pioneers’ this season. 

Looking forward to the competition at the college level, Kowalczyk feels like he can be an aggressive addition to a college team at whatever level suits him best. Open to D3, D2, and D1 schools, he told me that “what I have to offer for college ball is if the team needs something I’ll do it for them, I work my butt off on and off the field, I can always do my job, and I always have room for improvement.” Midwest colleges should get on his recruitment trail early, as Kowalczyk and the Pioneers’ are poised to have a big 2019.

Junior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/v/2BS5pB

Blake’s email: blakekowalczyk21@gmail.com

Blake’s phone number: (763) 482-4551