FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — As the old Mark Twain saying goes, ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.’ William Gustafson, senior quarterback for the Aquin Bulldogs, is a perfect example of that.
“My size, I’m 5’7″, about 145 pounds,” said Gustafson.
Although Gustafson may lack physical stature, he’s arguably the NUIC’S greatest player of all-time.
“Actually we just did the stats, I went through them today, and the stats that we had for Will is 87 total touchdowns, he actually has 88,” said Aquin head coach Broc Kundert. “So he is the record holder for the conference which is pretty cool.”
“It all goes out to my coach, my coaches, and all my teammates because without them, I wouldn’t be in this situation,” said Gustafson. “So I can’t really thank them enough, but I’m definitely grateful and blessed.”
But there’s much more to Gustafson than just being a great football player.
“I’m in student board, interact group in Aquin, Dogs and Paws which are groups that Aquin do,” said Gustafson. “My parents have always told me to get involved. All my teachers have talked to me about doing extracurriculars because they’re going to help me in the long run.”
“He definitely plays with a chip on his shoulder, I think that’s a lot of our guys though, but Will is the leader, and he probably has the biggest chip, and I think that is what pulls everybody along in the same direction as Will,” said Kundert.
Gustafson said he hopes he’s left a legacy as he prepares for his final game as a Bulldog.
“If I have left a legacy, and I hope I have, everyone wants to make an impact. If kids do look up to me, I hope they look up to me in the right ways.”
And despite his height, looking up is exactly what others do to him. If you’re wondering what is his motivation?
“Winning really gets me going,” said Gustafson.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever met a kid that wants to win more than him,” Kundert said. “We’ll do stuff where we’re competing in the weight room or on the field and if I, I don’t want to say cheat, but if I give the other group an advantage that he’s not on, he is more mad at me than he ever is. He just wants to win.”
And this group of seniors at Aquin has done plenty of winning over the last two seasons.
“Well last year we went undefeated, we won conference and went undefeated for the regular season, and this year as of now we’re undefeated so that’s always been super special to me because not a lot of teams can say they go undefeated because it’s difficult to do,” said Gustafson.
“This senior class as juniors and seniors are 16-1, and their one loss is to arguably the best 1A football team of all time,” Kundert said. “They’ll look back at what they’ve done and I think they’ll be really proud.”