For senior Spencer Kornblum, it’s a dream come true to line up under center and quarterback his Mercer Island High School varsity football squad under the stadium lights on game night.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound signal caller steps into his second year in the varsity starting role this season.
“I’m excited. I think our team has matured a lot more over this past year,” he said. “Coming in last year — new coaches, new playbook, new system — there’s a lot that needs to happen there to learn that and get all the players to really lock in and trust the system.”
Kornblum, who began his varsity membership as a freshman, said he’s aiming to bring vocal leadership to the table this season to help the team find its way. Stepping up his game with extra weight room training and discussions regarding routes with his receivers are also on the docket.
In Mercer Island’s 49-0 triumph over R.A Long on Sept. 8, Kornblum was 16-for-22 passing for 334 yards with four passing TDs and one rushing TD.
The Islander blasted out of the gate in the team’s opener against Seattle Prep with then career-best stats of 25-for-37 passing for 316 yards and three touchdown strikes.
Also shining for the Islanders in the 52-32 loss were senior running back/linebacker Luke Myklebust with 19 carries for 142 yards, 205 all-purpose yards to go along with 12 total tackles; senior wide receiver Ryan Boyle with seven catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns; junior wide receiver/defensive back Elan Gotel with seven catches for 56 yards and one interception; and junior outside linebacker Jack Buchan with eight total tackles. The Mercer Island offense amassed 513 total yards.
Kornblum was pleased with his passing game against Prep, noting that he’s been throwing balls to Boyle since middle school and is stoked to add Gotel into the receiving mix.
When watching Myklebust do his thing on both sides of the ball, Kornblum can’t help but gain inspiration to elevate his own game.
“I think he’s kind of the heart and soul of our team. Everyone knows he’s the hardest working guy in the room and everyone respects him on that level,” Kornblum said of Myklebust.
The Reporter asked Kornblum a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What would you say is your biggest pet peeve?
People that bite their fingernails. I feel like fingernails are super, kind of nasty in themselves, you don’t know what you always put your hands on. When you see somebody chewing on their nails, it just kind of ticks me off a little bit.
What’s a really cool binge-worthy TV series that you would recommend?
I’d have to go with the “Quarterback” show on Netflix. I think that gave a really cool insight to the on-field and off-field lives of actual NFL athletes that have to run an offense and control a team and work their (tails) off to support their families.
What’s the best piece of advice that you would give an incoming freshman coming into high school?
I’d say get involved with after-school clubs or go to all sporting event activities. I think that there’s a lot of social connections at those events, and spirit’s a really big thing at Mercer Island.
What would you say is your philosophy going into each day?
I want to give my best at whatever I’m doing that day. No matter what you’re doing, just kind of give your all.
What’s a musician, or a song or a band that inspires you maybe going into a game or going into what you’ve got to tackle each day?
I would go with Queen on that. I’m a big Queen fan. Ever since I’ve seen the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I was kind of like hooked. They’ve got music for all kinds of moods, so I feel if I’m driving to school or I’m just getting a workout in, I can listen to some Queen.
A lot of good inspirational lyrics there with those guys, and I would agree with you as well. I love some Queen for many years. Definitely good pick-me-up, let’s go-for-it type of tunes.