Sometimes you don't need to be the biggest player, or the fastest, or even the strongest to be a team leader and big-time performer. Joe Kropp, No. 22 for Rolling Meadows High School (Rolling Meadows, IL) plays defensive back and returner for the Mustangs and makes an impact at both positions.
Kropp a 5'9", 175-pound senior is a two-sport athlete who excels in not only football but baseball as well. Kropp is the type of player who has a sense for the ball, always finding himself near the action of a play whether it is a run or a pass.
The way Kropp describes his playing style is easy: "I am out to be a playmaker by getting interceptions and big hits." A true playmaker always wanting a piece of the action the best way to put it, Kropp is a ball-hawk.
A player like Kropp usually drives the opponents backwards during plays but what drives this underrated, do-it-all player? "What drives me is to come out to practice every day during the week to become a better competitor when the game is on come Friday night."
Off the field, Kropp who carries a 3.6 grade points average (GPA) is involved in helping out others in the classroom and outside of it. A team leader is important but a school leader is crucial and just like the plays he makes on Friday nights, Kropp is a crucial school leader.
As much of a leader he is, Kropp understands at the end of the day he has to play well for himself. "I hope to take my football game to the next level, I'm interested in playing at Indiana, Eastern Illinois, or Lake Forest."
The senior who has a total of 24 tackles halfway through the season and averages six a game, is ready for the final half of his senior year in high school football. "I'm not sure where I'm headed next, but wherever I end up, I will make sure to bring the team leadership, the positive influence, and great play to my next head coach."