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Cary Grove's Kyle Norberg escapes the pile and continues towards the end zone against Huntley. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
Not every high school athlete has a fitness expert living under the same roof, but Kyle Norberg is one of the lucky few.
Norberg, a senior running back and linebacker for Cary-Grove’s Class 6A finalist, is the son of Bill Norberg, who won the Amateur Athletic Union’s Mr. America bodybuilding award in 1988.
Now Kyle Norberg is in good enough shape to be the Trojans’ leading rusher and a contributor on a defense that has held 10 opponents to 14 points or fewer. It wasn’t an overnight process for Norberg and his dad/personal trainer.
‘‘Eighth grade, freshman year, that’s when I started going with him pretty much daily after school to work out,’’ Norberg said. ‘‘He’s [also] helped with diet.’’
Now Norberg is a 6-1, 215-pounder for Cary-Grove, which plays Crete-Monee in a matchup of 13-0 teams for the Class 6A title Saturday.
Norberg has averaged 11.2 yards per carry in the Trojans’ option offense and has 2,213 yards and 25 touchdowns on 198 carries. His contributions were especially vital when starting quarterback Quinn Baker missed time because of injury late in the regular season and sophomore Jason Gregoire filled in.
‘‘We wanted to make [Gregoire’s] experience a good one,’’ Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. ‘‘We did look to call on Kyle a little more.’’
Norberg was up to the challenge.
‘‘Kyle is blessed with great physical ability,’’ Seaburg said. ‘‘He brings strength and speed and explosiveness. .?.?. He’s done some things this year I’ve never seen a Cary-Grove player do.’’
That’s saying something because Cary-Grove has been a consistent winner under former coach Bruce Kay and now Seaburg, who’s in his second season. The Trojans have reached the state quarterfinals nine times since 1997, took second in Class 7A in 2004 and were unbeaten Class 7A champs in 2009.
Football is a big deal in the towns of Cary and Fox River Grove, where a caravan of fire trucks and police cars escorted the Trojans back to school after their semifinal victory last week against Lake Forest.
Another victory might mean another motorcade for Norberg and his teammates. Whatever happens, he’ll start thinking soon about his college plans. North Dakota and South Dakota have offered scholarships, and Norberg also is hoping to catch the eye of coaches at Northern Illinois.
‘‘I still like that place,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a winning program.’’
Norberg knows a little about that kind of team.