HUDSON — Most high school running backs dream of capping a season in the fashion in which Christian Seres concluded his junior campaign.
Hudson’s backfield workhorse ran for 210 yards and three scores in his UNI-Dome state semifinal debut last fall, before scoring one of his team’s two touchdowns in the championship game loss to West Sioux.
Seres, however, never grew up envisioning himself as the player carrying the ball into the end zone. Following in the footsteps of his older brother Matt — a two-time, all-state linemen who is currently a freshman on Iowa State’s football roster — Christian embraced the role of a blocker.
Hudson head coach Justin Brekke had different plans for the kid who had only played on the offensive and defensive line prior to high school. Seres entered his freshman season about 145 pounds, but was one of the stronger and more aggressive kids in his class.
“Our first summer meeting I remember telling him, ‘You’re going to be a running back,’” Brekke recalled. “He just lit up and said, ‘Really?’ The rest has been history.”
Through a rough freshman season of junior varsity football, Hudson’s coaching staff maintained faith Seres would eventually catch on to his new position.
“My freshman year I had no clue what I was doing,” Seres admits. “It was a lot different carrying the ball instead of blocking.
“I fumbled it over 25 times. I was always thinking, ‘Wow, I’m never going to get better at this position.’”
Following the example set by his older brother, who could squat over 600 pounds, Christian Seres went to work in the weight room, put on muscle, bought some new gloves with better grip and took hold of his new position.
As a sophomore, Seres led an 8-3 Hudson team with 103 carries, averaging 4.6 yards. He then opened his junior season in a timeshare with senior Cameron Fulcher. When Fulcher was injured after Week 4, Seres took over as the feature back and finished the year with 1,947 yards and 29 touchdowns during the Pirates’ run to the state finals.
“He was the guy that we had always expected him to be,” Brekke recalls. “He’s been absolutely somebody that we can depend on. He’s steady. You know what you’re going to get from him.”
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Seres, who also typically covers the other team’s top receiver, has managed to still make an impact on the outcome of the only two games in which he hasn’t reached the end zone these past two seasons. The first on the list was a 5-0 win over Gladbrook-Reinbeck last season that snapped the Rebels’ 29-game win streak. Hudson’s running back tallied 49 carries that game through heavy rain on the field that became a mud pit.
“We were really glad that it was a mud bowl,” Seres said, reflecting on a game that was as fun as any in which he’s competed. “Slipping and sliding all over, we knew that was good for us. It just flew by so fast. Every carry was just put your head down and run as hard as you can.”
After Hudson graduated its entire offensive line, tight end corps and fullback from a year ago, Seres continues to make an impact during his senior campaign for a 4-0 team that has climbed to a No. 1 ranking in Class A.
His second start without a touchdown came during Friday’s 24-21 overtime win against then No. 5 North Tama. Seres was held to 30 yards in the first half before a pancake block by lineman Caleb Koelling set the tone for a second half in which the back rushed for 116 yards.
When a holding call moved Hudson back to the 21-yard line in overtime against the Redhawks, Seres got to the edge on an outside zone run and fought for a 17-yard gain as he refused to go down until he reached the 3-yard line. That play set up Austin Appleton’s game-winning field goal.
The former lineman continues to credit his success to the blockers up front.
“Last year I was kind of looking up to the linemen,” said Seres, who has 3,073 career rushing yards and 43 touchdowns. “This year, they’re looking up to me, but it’s really them who do all the work. I just run behind them. Props to them. They’re the ones doing everything.”
Knowledge of the line has helped Seres set up blocks and patiently pick apart defenses.
“You know just where the hole will be, or will end up being, and you kind of hesitate, wait a second for that hole to pop, and you explode right through it,” Seres said.
Also a member of Hudson’s state-qualifying soccer team, Seres is planning to play football at the collegiate level. He’s one part of a Hudson team determined to replicate last season’s success.
“We just need to get better every week,” Seres said. “We’re ranked number one right now and we need to keep it that way. We need to play with confidence.”