Prep Football

Marion's Trevor Paulsen fueled by competitive edge

Senior quarterback posts strong start, leading Indians to opening-week victory

Marion senior quarterback Trevor Paulsen throws during the team’s camp at Marion High School in Marion, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Marion senior quarterback Trevor Paulsen throws during the team’s camp at Marion High School in Marion, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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MARION — Trevor Paulsen comes from a competitive pedigree.

The Marion four-sport athlete has followed in the steps of his parents. His mother, Roxanne, was a four-sport athlete who is the Indians’ head volleyball coach. Brad Paulsen, Trevor’s dad, was also a four-sport athlete who played football for the University of Dubuque.

Younger brother, Ryan, plays sports year-round for Marion. He expects his younger sister to do the same.

Sports were encouraged to remain active, but the competitive streak seems more encrypted in their DNA.

“They didn’t care if I did four or not,” said Paulsen, who participates in football, basketball, track and baseball. “They wanted me to be involved to develop that competitive edge and want to win. It transfers over, playing multiple sports. It just makes you more of a complete athlete.”

Paulsen has brought that mentality under center for Marion, starting at quarterback for a third season. He has helped the Indians program to two straight winning seasons under head coach Tim Lovell, including a season-opening win last week over Washington (Iowa).

The Indians face a tougher challenge Friday, hosting fifth-ranked West Delaware at Thomas Park, beginning at 6 p.m.

Lovell was impressed from the moment he took over the program in 2016, handing him the reins to the offense against Dubuque Wahlert midway through his sophomore season.

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“He is one of the most competitive kids we have on the team,” Lovell said of Paulsen. “He comes across maybe a little goofy at times, because he’s just a good-natured young man but when it gets down to the nuts and bolts of it there isn’t anybody who wants to win more than him.

“He’s going to give everything he’s got.”

A trait nurtured at home. Roxanne competed in basketball, softball, track and volleyball. Brad was a football, baseball, basketball and track athlete.

“It does get competitive at times with arguments and stuff,” Trevor said. “My brother and I really do. We’re only two years apart in age. My brother and sister do more than me and my sister, because I’m so much older than her. They certainly do.”

Paulsen started playing flag football as a youth with many of his current teammates. In fourth grade, they transitioned to Metro Youth Football Association, cementing his love for the game.

Brad was a coach for those middle-school teams and fostered his son’s love for football.

“When I was younger, I played catch with him all the time,” Trevor said. “He was a big influence.”

They continue to bond through football, watching game film together. Brad was a defensive back and has assisted his son’s learning curve, giving him a defender’s perspective.

“It definitely is cool,” Trevor said. “We both have a passion for the game, as does my brother. It’s real neat.”

Trevor has focused on watching more game film this year. The goal is to improve his knowledge and preparation, coming off a 1,448-yard and 19-touchdown season a year ago. He is more comfortable with pre-snap reads and coverage recognition than previous seasons, even though Marion has adopted more of an “open-grass” concept to its offense.

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“He’s all in with our receivers,” Lovell said. “They’ve done a great job figuring out where the spots in the defense are. That comes from watching film, getting reps in practice and understanding what is shown to you.

“He’s the engine that’s running this show, right now. We couldn’t be more pleased with where he is. He’s everything we’re looking for.”

Lovell said Paulsen demonstrated that knowledge, calling successful audibles from Lovell’s original call in the 40-14 win over the Demons. Paulsen threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with six different receivers.

“The line blocked great all night long,” Trevor said. “The receivers caught the ball (and) made some good plays for me. It was a good start. It was a good week.”

He was also the Indians’ top rusher, amassing 67 yards on more designed runs than the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder saw a year ago with a strong running tandem. Paulsen is a capable runner.

“He’s big and physical and that’s one of the things that make him so tough,” Lovell said. “He is hard to bring down. He does not want to go down. He loves contact.”

Lovell praised his quarterback for being the emotional and mental leader for the Indians. He said he can be a prankster but resembles a “throwback” player, preferring being outdoors and active to being on social media.

All those intangibles can be traced back to his family and Trevor admires his parents’ sacrifice to instill them.

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“They’ve done a lot for me,” Trevor said. “They spent a lot of time taking us places. They put a lot of time into my siblings and I.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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