Eli Hoelz Excelling at Quarterback for Brainerd Following Position Switch
Last year, Eli Hoelz was the top receiver for Brainerd football as he led the team in both receptions and receiving yards. This year, he’s led the Warriors through the air, as the senior has already amassed nine passing touchdowns en route to a 4-0 start.
After spending the last two years as a deep threat for the Warriors, Hoelz’s transition over to the team’s field general was more of a return.
“I played quarterback from the time I started playing football until sophomore year when I switched to receiver for those two years,” said Hoelz. “So I had some experience, but obviously not as much at the varsity level.”
Couple that with two seasons as the backup quarterback, and it was a no-brainer to appoint Hoelz as top gunslinger in 2023.
“I think it was kind of a natural agreement between both sides,” said head coach Jason Freed. “I think of the things that makes Eli who he is is he’s a natural born leader. And at the quarterback position, that’s one of the tangibles you got to have.”
And it’s those intangibles Hoelz aims to embody everyday for the Warriors.
“Everyone kind of looks at the quarterback to be the leader of the offense,” said Hoelz. “So I think that’s been the biggest step. Obviously I still try to be a leader at receiver, but going back to quarterback, everyone looks at you when something is going good, everyone looks at you when something is going badly.”
After totaling 34 receptions and 354 receiving yards last year for Brainerd, he’s led the charge thus far, averaging 169 passing yards per game without recording a single interception through the team’s first four games.
Hoelz and the Warriors will put their unblemished record on the line Friday, Sept. 29 against Alexandria.