ELK MOUND, Wis. (WEAU) -- The name is Todd, Blaze Todd; maybe one of the most fitting names in the Chippewa Valley for a running back, and he’s averaging nearly 200 yards rushing per game this season. Todd is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert reports.
Elk Mound's Blaze Todd celebrates a touchdown run.
Blaze, like fire, is his name because his dad is a firefighter. I guess hindsight really was 20/20 when naming the Elk Mound running back because he’s already “blazed” his way to over 1,500 yards rushing on nearly 10 yards per carry. It took him until his senior year to burst onto the scene due to Brady Redwine running past the competition the last 2 seasons.
“Being behind him actually motivated me. I looked up to him basically,” Todd said of his predecessor at running back for the Mounders. “This offseason, I was thinking, ‘I want to be like Brady. I want to be as good as he was.’ So that just made me work harder. Being behind him taught me patience, having to wait my turn. I think that it’s paying off.”
“We didn’t take any (steps) back with Blaze. Blaze is a really dynamic kid,” Dave Lew, head coach for Elk Mound, said of his senior running back. “He waited his turn, and he really came on this year because of all his hard work and his dedication. He’s really excited to be a football player here in Elk Mound and continue the running back tradition.”
The offensive line appreciates Blaze as their running back; he’s not a selfish runner, and overall, he’s a good kid.
“As a person, he’s so fun. Sometimes he cracks jokes in the huddle with us. It’s pretty fun. He’s a pretty fun cat,” Alex Johnson, Elk Mound’s right tackle, said. “When it gets down to it, we can all be pretty serious in there when you get in the heat of the moment. Underneath, he’s just a great guy to have fun with and play football.”
“A lot of them, this was their 1st year playing varsity, and they really stepped it up. I owe a lot of it to the guys up front,” Todd said. “I’ve been a running back since I was little. Elk Mound, we have a history of producing a lot of good backs. After me, there’s a lot of potential.”
“They’re not big, but they got big hearts. They’re really young actually. They’re all pretty much juniors. We start one senior on our offensive line, so there was a whole new line that we had to replace, so to have the yardage we have right now is pretty exciting,” Lew said.
Blaze and his Mounders finish their regular season at Glenwood City and will try to improve to 6-3 on the year before they head into the playoffs.