When two-a-day football practices kicked off way back in August, Plymouth senior receiver Mike Olevnik wasn't sure how much playing time he would be seeing during the 2010 season.
The uncertainty disappeared once the sure-handed
grabbed and secured a starting spot for the Wildcats' potent offense.
He has taken the opportunity and run with it. Heading into this past Saturday's Division 1 regional final game against Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Olevnick was one of Plymouth's leading receivers.
In addition to excelling on the gridiron, Olevnik is also an accomplished lacrosse player.
Olevnik took a few moments following a recent practice to answer some questions from PlymouthCantonSports.com's Ed Wright.
ED WRIGHT: What do you like about your team's offense?
MIKE OLEVNIK: It's really spread out, which keeps the defense on their toes. They don't really know who's going to get the ball. It can go to anybody on any play. It helps get receivers open because other teams can't focus on one guy.
EW: How important is it to run sharp, concise routes every play?
MO: It's very important. Even if you're not the primary check-down guy, you have to run your routes well to open it up for the other receivers. Anything could happen on any play, too, so you have to do your job. It's unselfish football. You have to do a lot of stuff even though you know you're not going to get the ball.
EW: Is there a catch you're most proud of or one you consider most important this season?
MO: I think they're all important, but my favorite one was my touchdown catch against Saline. It was a fun catch because it got me pumped up and it got the team excited, and it came in a very exciting game.
EW: What do you like better: football or lacrosse?
MO: I'd say it's equal. I love both sports. I've been playing football since I was in the fourth grade and I didn't start playing lacrosse until my sophomore, so football has been a bigger part of my life. At the beginning of this season, I didn't even know if I'd be starting, so the way it has turned out has been a blessing.
EW: How would you describe your skills? Are you more of a possession guy or a deep threat?
MO: I think I'm another tall target that our quarterback can throw to. I feel I can catch the ball and pick up 10 yards, which takes some pressure off our running game and the other receivers.
EW: Who did you play for growing up?
MO: I played for the (Plymouth-Canton) Steelers. I played with Tyler Goble, Tony Rhodes and Phil Schultz. We made it to the Super Bowl twice, but lost both games 6-0.
EW: How good has your quarterback, Shaun Austin, been this season?
MO: It's been amazing how he's stepped up. I'm so proud of him. He's done a great job of spreading the ball around. We have really good chemistry with him out there.