Salem QB knows all about long drives (on field and off)
Ahlgren loves Rocks’ new spread offense and positive team vibe
Before the sun rises on most school days, Salem quarterback Robert Ahlgren settles into his car and makes the 10-mile drive from his home in Garden City to the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park campus.
Ahlgren’s mom, Penny, is a P-CEP security guard, making the GC resident eligible to attend school at Salem.
So as a quarterback, yes, Ahlgren is accustomed to long drives — on the field and off.
An outstanding student with a close-to-3.8 grade-point average, Ahlgren has been tabbed to start at QB for the Rocks to begin the 2022 season (which started with a hard-fought loss at Dearborn High on Aug. 25.
However the senior’s best sport may be baseball, which he hopes to continue playing in college beginning in 2023.
Ahlgren took a few minutes following a recent practice to speak with SocialHouseNews.com Editor-In-Chief Ed Wright.
What was your first “I love football!” moment?
My first day in pads when I was young, playing in Garden City, I was lined up across from the biggest kid on the team in a tackling drill. I got nailed by him, but I was fine. I got up, shook it off, and I’ve loved football ever since.
Is there a play or plays you remember from when you were younger that is carved into your memory?
Two years ago playing junior varsity against Canton, I scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, which never happens against Canton. That was pretty cool.
What’s been the hardest part about Salem having three head football coaches in your four years here?
With every new coach, we heard, ‘Let’s change the program, let’s change the culture!’ With Coach (Brendan) Murphy this year, I feel like things are actually changing in a good way.
Does the number you wear (9) have any personal significance?
Obviously, it’s (Matthew) Stafford’s number, but I always liked Drew Brees when I was growing up. It was available when I got here and it’s a quarterback number, so I grabbed it.
Would you be cool with playing offensive line if your coach asked?
I actually have experience playing offensive line when I was in little league in Garden City. I love to hit and I think I’m a pretty good blocker, so I’d be fine with it … although I prefer quarterback.
What do you like best about Salem’s offensive scheme?
Coach Murphy brought in a spread offense after we ran the veer the past few years. I love it because it’s out of the (shot)gun formation, which gives me time to read the field after I secure the snap. It’s nice having that little extra time.
What’s the best book you’ve read?
The Odyssey. I read it in an English class and I like it.
What’s it like participating in sports at the (three-school) Plymouth-Canton Educational Park?
I like it. I could be sitting in a math class with my blue Salem jersey on and someone from one of the other schools will come up and start talking a little (good-natured) smack. It’s easier to make new friends and it helps prepare students for college because the campus is so big here.
What’s the worst movie you’ve seen?
I watched “The Notebook” with my mom when I was young and I didn’t enjoy the movie.