Port Huron Northern’s Theo Ellis runs the ball during the Crosstown Showdown football game against Port Huron High School Oct. 20. (Photo: Brian M. Wells/Times Herald)
Times Herald Athlete of the Week: Theo Ellis shines for Port Huron Northern football
Joseph Hayes, Times Herald, November 4, 2017
Theo Ellis is just getting started.
The Port Huron Northern sophomore running back was mostly an unknown commodity entering the season. But after leading Port Huron Northern to its best season in decades, Ellis will enter 2018 as one of the top athletes in the Blue Water Area.
He ends his successful sophomore campaign being voted Times Herald Athlete of the Week. Jordan Moss of Algonac, Megan McCulloch of Marysville and Lexie Davidson were also considered for the award.
“The chemistry we built this year and the foundation we laid was important,” Ellis said. “Day in and day out, our seniors helped push us to where we are now. It’s nice to know that the offense is there when the defense needs us and the defense is there when the offense needs them.
“We knew as a team we were going to make it through no matter what, and that’s what continued to happen throughout the season. I kept doing it for my team. They are what pushes me.”
The Huskies lost to Warren De La Salle, 50-0, Friday night at Memorial Stadium to finish the season 9-2. Ellis entered the game needing only 31 yards to finish the season with 1,000 yards. But the Huskies offense struggled to get into gear and he finished the game with negative yardage.
“It was a good game and they are a good team, and so are we,” Ellis said. “It just came down to who made the most mistakes. This game will help us, to let us know it won’t always be easy. We have to put our hats on and keep working.
“It was a lot of fun. The players I play with are an amazing group. They are the best guys you will meet on and off the field. I will miss them so much. We are graduating a lot of seniors. No matter where coach (Larry) Roelens put us, we played as a family and for each other.”
Behind Ellis, the Huskies also won their first playoff game since 1986 and will be one of the favorites to win the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division next year alongside Marine City.
Ellis finished his first season as a full-time starter with 185 carries for 941 yards and 13 touchdowns. Making his season even more impressive is his 5 yards per carry average.
“In my three years as coach, this is the best we have rushed the ball,” Port Huron Northern coach Larry Roelens said. “We haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher in a long time. I don’t know the last time we had one.
“I knew going into the season that he had seemed to be a good fit getting handoffs. He is a pure runner. That’s why he’s a sprinter in track. His vision got better as the year went on. He had a couple of games where he had 100 yards back-to-back.”
Next season, Roelens said the sky is the limit for the Huskies offense, which will also return quarterback Seth Klink.
“The biggest thing is, I just expect Theo to come back bigger, faster and stronger and keep his speed and continue to grow as a running back and as a leader,” Roelens said.
For his part, those are some of the expectations Ellis had already set for himself.
“This was the best senior class I can remember playing with,” Ellis said. “I play for my teammates and they led us to a great year.
“I’m happy to step up more next year for my team.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Joseph_Hayes11.