With the graduation of all-state quarterback John Huemme, many questions centered around what Covenant football coach Seth Wilson would do at the position.
Luke Sorensen answered those questions last Friday with a standout performance in his starting debut for the Eagles. The 6-foot-1 senior threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more during Covenant’s 62-20 victory over area rival St. Anne’s-Belfield.
Sorensen is the Schewels Athlete of the Week.
“In my eyes, a quarterback should be a leader on and off the field and should live well by being an example to others,” Sorensen said. “You have a lot of responsibilities to command the offense, as well as being encouraging to your teammates in practice and in games.”
Last Friday’s game was the first time Sorensen had played football in three years. His last gridiron appearance came as a ninth grader in the state championship game at Atlantic Shores after the starting quarterback was injured in the first quarter.
The senior made up for lost time on Friday, rushing for a team-high 182 yards on 11 carries against STAB, including touchdown runs of 66 and 60 yards. He also completed 3-of-8 passes for 79 yards and three touchdowns.
“Against STAB, my passing game was not the best,” Sorensen admitted. “I hope to develop that skill more as the season progresses. However, our team did a really good job in the run game.”
Sorensen’s ability to make quick decisions with his feet stems from his time as a midfielder for the Eagles’ lacrosse team. He’s received interest from several college lacrosse programs but is still weighing his options.
The Covenant senior said there’s a lot of similarities in his two sports.
“Though they may seem quite different, football and lacrosse require you to dig deep near the end of the game and push through, even though you may feel exhausted,” Sorensen said. “I enjoy this aspect because it makes the victories feel that much better. The feeling of ending the game and knowing that you left everything out on the field makes football and lacrosse my favorite sports.”
Sorensen said he models his game after Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who played high school football at Collegiate in the Richmond area. “.
“My favorite part of football it the teamwork aspect,” he said. “You can’t achieve your goal if everyone doesn’t perform their jobs correctly.”
That is especially important at Covenant as the team embarks in its first season in eight-man football.
“Eight-man football is a lot different,” Sorensen said. “It makes it a lot easier to get the ball down the field and have a high-scoring game. But contrary to that, it can present more challenges to the defense. The width of the field is also narrowed, so that can make some of the sweeps, passes and outside runs harder.”
Those challenges motivate Sorensen. In the classroom, his favorite classes are math and science. He hopes to pursue a degree in business or engineering.
“I enjoy problem solving, so those subjects are always fun,” he said.
Sorensen has never shied away from the big moments. In 2012, he appeared on the silver screen in the Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln” which was filmed in several parts of Virginia.
He said a family friend told him about the gig and he decided to go for it. The Covenant standout appeared in several of the courtroom scenes, where he helped congressmen fill their cups with ink and delivered notes.
Sorensen noted that his role in the movie resembled that of playing the quarterback position.
“Being in character all the time, without much direction was my favorite part of the experience, apart from the full-time buffet,” he said. “You can really do what you want in the background to some extent. Delivering papers from one man to another, brief conversations with the congressman and whatever you can think they did back then.”
The day the film was released, the Sorensen family went to the theater to watch their son’s movie debut.
“We all yelled when I showed up [on the screen] and probably annoyed the other people in the movie, including John Grisham, who was sitting behind us,” Sorensen said. “It was a lot of fun and I would love to do it again.”
That wasn’t Sorensen’s first memorable moment.
As a child, his family moved to Cape Town, South Africa, for about four years to do ministry work. During their time, they befriended former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and had Christmas dinner with her.
Sorensen expects to have some more memorable moments this season with the Eagles.
“Our team expects to play well,” he said. “Our motto is ‘hunt’ and hopefully we will fully embody that message in all we do.”
As for the perfect ending of the season, Sorensen has his own Hollywood script in mind.
“For me, the perfect game would entail a Hail Mary [pass] to win it all,” he said. “Those types of games seem to be the most exciting, although I hope we are not in that position this year.”