Each week, Townsquare Media, sponsored by FNBO, will be highlighting a Northern Colorado high school athlete as part of Townsquare Media’s High School MVP program. Each of these athletes has had an outstanding presence on the court or field and has been submitted or selected as our MVP of the week.

In football, it's easy to turn towards the quarterback or receivers to give credit in big wins. However, it's the defensive side of the ball that's appreciated but not always recognized.

Linebacker and defensive end Justin Hawthorne, a senior for the Resurrection Christian Cougars, it's the epitome of just how much a good leader on defense can make a difference. For his performance in Resurrection Christian's 41-14 win over University, we have selected Justin as this week's high school MVP!

Having played varsity for four years for the Cougars, Justin is not unfamiliar with his role on the field. His favorite part? The hits. Luckily, that's pretty key for a defensive player.

In Resurrection Christian's win over University on Oct. 29, Justin led his team in both solo tackles and tackle assists, notching 15 of the team's 71 total tackles in the game.

Justin also garnered one sack for a total loss of 14 yards. Along with the rest of the defensive line, Justin helped hold University to just 40 rushing yards on the night. In comparison, Resurrection Christian totaled 351 rushing yards.

Resurrection Christian's next game will be against La Junta on Saturday, Nov. 6 as a neutral game for the 2021 CHSAA State Football Playoffs.

We asked Justin a few questions in reflection of the season so far, how the team has had such huge success this year, and what's next for him following high school!

Q&A With MVP Justin Hawthorne, Varsity Football