‘FOR EVERYONE AROUND YOU’: Olsofka’s encouraging leadership elevates crusaders

The antithesis of Olsofka’s somewhat imposing stature is his modest, unassuming personality. Olsofka is 6ft 4in; his hair cascades well past his shoulders (“I love how he looks under a helmet,” he says), and he hasn’t cut his flowing locks since his sophomore year. Off the pitch, Olsofka is a relaxed, calm and thoughtful soul. Olsofka values ​​responsibility, hard work and tenacity – but more than that, he prides himself on being an encouraging voice for his teammates.

As a freshman and sophomore who got playing time right away, Olsofka’s teammates knew him as a mature, yet soft-spoken addition to the Crusaders offensive line. He didn’t say much, but got it right.

However, the older he got, the more he realized he would need to speak more to help the team grow.

“As you get older, you start to realize that older guys play a huge role in helping younger guys progress,” Olsofka said. He specifically mentions players like Max Daurelle, who played for the Crusaders from 2016 to 2019, who was a positive and encouraging role model for him.

“For me, having older guys supporting me, it encouraged me to be just as supportive of a guy as they have been,” he said. “That’s what helped me become that type of guy to just cheer others on and help them pull themselves together.”

It was during the COVID shutdown that Olsofka fully began to think about the leader he should become. As a rising junior, he was now one of those ‘older guys’, and while his playing experience was valuable, he needed to be more vocal in order to have the biggest impact on the team’s success. .

“That period of COVID, from second to first year, you were home and you missed football – you really missed it,” he said. “And we had a whole year to work on ourselves and work on our game.

“After taking this time, I knew I had to step up and take on this leadership role. ‘Cause if it ain’t me, then who it gonna be?