June 6, 2016
HUDSONVILLE, MI — Although track and field and football are two different sports, watching Warren De La Salle junior Allen Stritzinger compete in both of them is essentially the same since all he does is run away from opponents.
As a running back and defensive back in football, Strizinger is difficult to run down once he gets into the secondary. On Saturday at the Division 1 track and field state championships in Hudsonville, he put his speed to good use by capturing all-state honors in the 110 hurdles with a sixth-place finish and a time of 14.60.
“It’s a workout for football,” Stritzinger said of running the hurdles. “It’s something that gets me prepared for the football season but I’m still going to compete in it because I love this sport just as much as I love football. It’s a fun activity for me to be doing while football isn’t going on.”
In football, Stritzinger is a three-star recruit according to 247Sports and he currently holds 13 offers. Currently, his only Big Ten offer is from the University of Michigan while schools like Syracuse and Western Michigan are also the list.
“It’s a tremendous honor and a blessing to have that offer,” Stritzinger said. “Being recruited by coach (Tyrone) Wheatley, it’s a great deal (with) him being from the area and me and him keeping contact like we do. It’s a fun thing.”
Wheatley was also a star track athlete in his high school days at Dearborn Heights Robichaud, winning the long jump, 100, 200, 110 hurdles as a senior in 1990. Wheatley has the retired Class B championship records in long jump (23-feet-10.75) and the 110 hurdles (13.7).
“He always brags about how he would run the 100 and then go back down there and run the 110 hurdles and win it all,” Stritzinger said. “He has a little bragging rights so I’m just trying to make it to that point too.”
Although Stritzinger says he has not had a lot of interaction with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh at this point because he wanted to focus on track and offseason work, he has enjoyed the conversations that they have shared.
“The rumors about him being an energetic guy, he’s like that all the time,” Stritzinger said of Harbaugh.
Although injuries limited Stritzinger’s playing time this last fall, he did have an excellent sophomore year with De La Salle that was highlighted by a 175-yard, one-touchdown rushing performance in the 2014 state championship game that the Pilots won.
Even with the Michigan offer, however, it appears that Syracuse is the school that Stritzinger is holding in his highest regard at this point, partly because they have kept the most contact with him and are recruiting him specifically as a running back instead of a defensive back. Stritzinger said that the rest of the schools he has heard from have not been as specific of where on the field they would like him to play at this point. He is also getting recruited by Syracuse running backs coach Mike Hart, who was a former standout at Michigan.
“I like Syracuse a lot,” Stritzinger said. “I love Syracuse. I’ve been there four times. My dad loved it and my mom loved it. Coach (Vinson) Reynolds and coach (Dino) Babers, all of them keep tremendous amount of contact with me. Same with coach Hart. I really like what they’re doing there.”