Wayne Hills (Wayne, N.J.) quarterback Kevin Olsen knows it sounds outlandish and crazy, but he believes it with every fiber of his being.
He’s got to.
It’s what makes him who he is – one of the country’s top quarterbacks and the major reason the Patriots knocked off Old Tappan (Old Tappan, N.J.) last December to claim their second straight North 1, Group 3 championship.
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“I feel like I can throw the perfect season,” said Olsen, a senior who is committed to Miami. “My accuracy is the reason I’ve gotten where I am today, and so I’m confident in that accuracy. Every quarterback thinks they can complete every pass. I know it. If you don’t know it, then you’re playing the wrong position.”
Last season, Olsen completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,686 yards and 20 touchdowns. That’s a dream season for most quarterbacks, but it's not even close for Olsen.
“I’m my own worst critic,” he said. “I just know that I can do so much better than that. So I just work harder and try and get better. I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve myself.”
Olsen’s recipe for success is cliché and simple.
“Practice is the only way to get better and win,” Olsen said. “There isn’t any pill you can take or anything like that. There aren’t any shortcuts either. You’ve got to invest hard work to be the best, and I’m driven to be the best.”
He encourages his receivers to have the same drive.
“We have this thing in our receiving lines that we don’t want to drop any passes in warm-ups,” Olsen said. “You’ve got to have that mindset. I can’t complete passes if they don’t catch them so that’s why I just try and keep them motivated by talking to them.”
Olsen will be reduced to the advisory role, at least for a while.
On Sept. 7, in the season opener against North Highlands (Allendale, N.J.), Olsen rolled his ankle and suffered a fractured bone in his right foot. He will be sidelined in a hard caste for six weeks.
The Patriots ended up romping the Highlanders, 56-7.
"It's unfortunate, obviously," Olsen said. "I want to be out there helping my team. I can't, and that kills me."
Still, don’t expect the injury to diminish Olsen’s impact.
“I’ll just be on the sidelines getting my teammates fired up,” he said. “As confident as I am in my accuracy, I’m equally as confident in my teammates. I fully expect to be back for the playoffs, but for now I’m just finding a new way to be accurate.”