Heading into his sophomore season last year, Corey Taubr was ready to contribute immediately on the St. Laurence varsity football team.
Then, he received some surprising news.
His Vikings teammates had voted him to be a team captain.
“I was a little shocked, but it wasn’t anything crazy,” Taubr said. “All I want to do is go out there and win. It was a little bit of a surprise, but I’m a quiet leader. I put in the work at practice every day, show up early, do all the things that need to be done.”
St. Laurence participated in a 7-on-7 workout on July 20 at Richards High School in Oak Lawn with the host Bulldogs and Hillcrest, another South Suburban Conference opponent.
Taubr, a Mt. Greenwood resident, will be a team captain again this fall. He attended Mt. Greenwood Elementary School and played football for St. Christina.
A 5’8”, 170-pound two-way starter, he will start as a slot receiver on offense and as a strong safety on defense.
As the Vikings wrap up their summer schedule with the official start of the fall season around the corner, Taubr has been impressed with the team’s work ethic through a busy offseason, both on the field and in the weight room.
St. Laurence finished 4-5 last season, missing out on the state playoffs.
“I definitely feel like there’s been a kind of culture change, at least in the weight room,” Taubr said. “Last year, some of the guys weren’t as into it as this year. We’ve got linebackers putting up 600-pound squats and nasty numbers in general. We have that want to win that wasn’t as present last year.”
In Taubr, St. Laurence Coach Adam Nissen knows he has a strong leader with experience to help lead the way, including in the weight room.
As a freshman on the freshman team, Taubr originally started as a quarterback before shifting to new positions.
“Corey played two or three games at quarterback, but it wasn’t working out, so we asked him to switch,” Nissen said. “A lot of freshmen might have thrown a hissy fit. His answer was ‘Wherever you need me to play, I’ll play!’ Then, last year he got moved up to varsity, was a two-way starter and voted team captain.”
Nissen said the team votes for captains. When Taubr was elected by his teammates, Nissen checked in with some of his senior leaders. In his 17 years coaching, he’d never seen a sophomore voted team captain.
“Corey is a great kid, a great football player, but he’s a sophomore,” Nissen said. “These seniors were on board with it. He does things the right way. The seniors above you see it that way, it’s great. At the end of the day, we want guys who represent St. Laurence football. Naming him captain, it was the right thing to do.”
In his sophomore season, Taubr was a steady performer on both sides of the ball as a dual-threat weapon able to catch and run the ball and as a key defender in the Vikings secondary.
He scored a key rushing touchdown in a late-season win over Providence.
Finding his groove going from the freshman to varsity team, Taubr said there was some necessary adjustments, but he found his footing with each passing week.
“That first week against Moline, it’s my first varsity football game,” Taubr said. “Everything hit me at once. Slowly during the season, it became more natural, and I got used to it.”
Taubr also played baseball as a freshman but switched to track and field as a sophomore. He ran the 100- and 200-meter dash sprints and also ran on the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams.
Juggling athletics and academics, he’s earned a 4.5 grade-point average. He was named to both the All-Chicago Catholic League-Orange team and the All-CCL All-Academic team.
“I keep everything together. In school, I like to get on top of my schoolwork,” Taubr said. “I get everything done during the day so as soon as the bell rings, I can get out to the football field and just worry about football.”
St. Laurence will open the 2022 season on Aug. 26 at Moline.
The Vikings will be looking to get back in the state playoffs for the first time since 2019.
“We’ve got some really good football players in the junior class. Our seniors, it’s a smaller group they’re good football players,” Nissen said. “They’re meshing really well with each other. We’re focused on getting better today, looking the film and doing it again tomorrow.”