There comes a time when the basics are downright important, especially when you have several people involved in the Elgin football program who have the same first name.
Monday when we sat down with Elgin senior Peyton Christensen, we immediately got into the discussion on what makes the Owls’ defense so effective.
“With Jack it’s just controlled chaos,” Christensen said. “He’s a stickler for details. He really gets after it and loves an attacking style of defense. That’s just how he does things. He’s a little weird.”
After spending 12 minutes taping the interview the 6-1, 175-pound senior thought a second and asked a simple question.
“Were you talking about (defensive end) Jack Anglley or (defensive coordinator) Jack Baker?”
Well, I thought we were talking about Coach Baker.
“It doesn’t really make a difference because they are really similar,” Christensen said. “I guess you could describe their thoughts on defense about the same. They both love to get after it but one is a coach and the other just does what he’s taught.
“The thing we all have in common is we all love the challenge of going out and shutting down offenses. We are tougher mentally now than we were two or three years ago and that credit goes to Coach Baker. Everyone wants to reach that next level and he’s leading us there.”
There is a laser-focus this season and that comes from closing the 2023 season with losses to Midwest City, in the final District 5A-1 game, and then a 17-0 loss to Guthrie in the 5A playoffs.
“We have been thinking about them coming down here to our house and taking a 17-0 win to end our season,” Christensen said of the Guthrie loss. “That’s been eating at us since that game last November.”
While the Owls do look back at times, most often they are looking forward and spending time with their friends on the team.
“We hang out together and will go out and eat together,” he said. “It’s all about the mood we are in that determines the meal. We love Buffalo Wild Wings or Tua Famalia but when I want a favorite meal I ask my grandmother Elfrieda Christensen to make her specialty which is enchiladas. She makes the best enchiladas with hamburger and chicken inside and a spicy sauce over the top. They are always amazing,”
Does she have Mexican blood in her family?
“No, she’s German,” Christensen said with a big grin. “She’s just always had a knack of making great enchiladas.”
Christensen is another good student-athlete who is already taking college classes as he ponders a career in the medical field.,
“My mother is an RN in the rehab unit at Comanche Memorial Hospital,” he said. “My goal is to get into some career in the medical field, hopefully sports medicine.”
Christensen is the youngest of five children and he says his family has always been supportive of his efforts.
“I had a birthday recently and my brother Johnny flew in to surprise me,” he said. “He played quarterback for Elgin from 2012 to 2014 and now he is the strength and conditioning coach for the Milwaukee Brewers. I was so glad he made it down here for my birthday; it really meant a great deal to me.”
Christensen and the Owls had a busy practice Monday, including some extra conditioning after 100 yards in penalties last week against Weatherford, including three unsportsmanlike penalties and some rough offensive series in the first half.
“We knew we played bad in the first half,” he said. “It was on us. The coaches really didn’t change anything, they just told us to get our minds right. We got things going in the second half and pulled way.”
This week the Owls visit El Reno and the Elgin defense better be ready for a big dose of ground attack.
“They will run the ball against us; that’s their focus,” Christensen said. “They have a similar defense and will stack the box and see if they can shut us down. Their running back is good and we have to tackle well. They might throw it five times.”
But the Owls won’t panic, they will just turn to Jack A and Jack B to do what needs to be done on or off the field with another dose of controlled chaos.