Larson headed to West Point
Somerset lineman Reggie Larson is headed to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he will become a part of the Army football program.
Larson said he couldn't pass up the opportunity of a lifetime, even though attending West Point involves a 10-year commitment to the United States Army. If he graduates, he will be commissioned as a second lieutenant.
Larson is scheduled to arrive at West Point on July 22 to begin orientation. That doesn't leave him much prep time. He will be joining teammates Tyler Ledbeter and Luke Praschak as part of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Game on July 20.
When Larson arrives at West Point, he'll undergo 16 days of basic training before beginning football practice. His first year will be spent at the prep school that is part of West Point. The prep school has a football team that plays 10 games, but the students do not lose a year of eligibility. The prep school is an intense educational experience that helps prepare the recruits for the rigors of West Point.
Larson spent a great deal of time deciding whether to attend West Point or go to UW-River Falls.
"Having it be a military academy and being so far away from my family made it difficult," Larson said.
He said the decision ultimately came down to the fact that of how great an opportunity attending West Point would be.
"I don't want to look back in 10 years and say what if I'd gone to West Point. The pros are really good, but they make you earn them. You're set for life if you make it through and you graduate with one of the best educations in America," he said.
There has been a strong push in the past several years in the Somerset football program to instill the same values that are core values used by the Army. Larson said knowing those values helped him to understand the ethic demanded in the military.
The Larson family also has a connection with Army head coach Rich Ellerson. Army runs the same triple option offensive attack that is used in the Somerset High School program. Somerset coach Bruce Larson, Reggie's father, and Ellerson became friends years ago through their mutual interest in this offense. Reggie said knowing Coach Ellerson and the type of person he is made the decision easier to attend West Point.
Larson is one of a bevy of 2013 Somerset High School graduates who plan to continue their athletic careers in college. Here is a rundown of Spartans who are headed toward college sports careers.
University of Miami
Steph LeMire is headed to the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. LeMire accepted a scholarship offer to become part of the Miami women's swim team.
Somerset's Gabe Flandrick accepted a scholarship offer to wrestle at Minnesota State-Mankato, but his college wrestling career may have to wait a season. Flandrick recently underwent surgery to repair two tendons in his right shoulder that were damaged in his overtime victory in the WIAA Division 2 state semifinals. He was told that the surgery would require eight months of recovery time.
Sarah Krig has accepted a scholarship offer to compete on the women's track team at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Krig qualified for the WIAA state meet in three events in each of the past two seasons.
University of Minnesota
Natalie Broome will join the strong group of sprinters on the women's track team for the University of Minnesota Gophers. That group includes former New Richmond standout Kat Keller and former WIAA state champion Chidera Obasih from Brookfield. Broome was a multiple state placewinner in her career for the Spartans.
Bobby LeRoy will be part of the UW-Platteville men's wrestling team. Derrick Berry will be competing with the UW-Platteville football team.
Somerset track standouts Luke Praschak and Robbie Lang will be competing with the UW-Eau Claire men's track program. Praschak was a Division 2 state champion in the 110 high hurdles and Lang was one of the top sprinters in western Wisconsin.
Tyler Ledbeter and Jared Buchanan will become part of the Spartan tradition with the UW-River Falls football team. Ledbeter was the starting quarterback on the Somerset 2012 state football championship team while Buchanan was one of the team's top linemen.
Alex Piletich, another of the Spartans' key linemen, plans to continue his football career at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn.
Nate Olin and Jordan Langness will follow former SHS players Jared Dettmann and Dakota Belter into the baseball program at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn. The Century baseball team reached the Junior College World Series this spring. Langness is also exploring options to play junior hockey.