Star quarterback, pitcher Thor Larsen to be inducted into Nevada Union Athletics hall of Fame
Editor’s note: This is the 14th installment of a 17-part series chronicling the 2018 Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame inductees. Check back to The Union sports pages each day for a new profile on a Nevada Union legend.
With an abundance of talent, an innate ability to lead and a passion to compete, Thor Larsen was the type of athlete who made those around him better.
Larsen’s skill, both as a leader and an athlete, led to impressive stat lines, a plethora of accolades and a lot of Friday night victories, including the first ever Sac-Joaquin Section football championship in Nevada Union history.
“Thor was a fiery leader and a fierce competitor. Any time there was competition, he fought to win,” said Dave Humphers, who coached Larsen on the Nevada Union football team. “He was the leader of a group of seniors that year who were so competitive and so determined. And, they were able to make all of that team’s dreams come true and brought a section title home.”
In addition to being the star quarterback on Nevada Union’s first ever Sac-Joaquin Section championship football team, Larsen was also a standout on the baseball diamond. For his many achievements at Nevada Union, the 1994 graduate is being inducted into the Nevada Union Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday.
Larsen had just one season as the full time starter at quarterback and he made the most of it. As a senior in 1993, Larsen threw for 1,659 yards, 22 touchdowns and two interceptions as he led the Miners to the section title. He was named the Capital Athletic League MVP, was an Optimist All-Star, was First Team All-NorCal and was named The Union’s and The Sac Bee’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Although his numbers and accolades speak to the type of quarterback Larsen was, he is quick to give credit for his success to the team as a whole.
“It was a great group of guys,” Larsen said. “I was very fortunate to play with the guys we had on the teams I was on. Tremendous athletes combined that with tremendous coaching, a strong work ethic and good fundamentals and it gave us a recipe for success and it showed.
“The reason why I excelled the way I did was because I had those guys around me pushing me every day in practice.”
On the baseball diamond, Larsen was the Miners ace pitcher and earned All-CAL First Team honors in both his junior and senior seasons, and was an Optimist All-Star in 1994.
Larsen gives a lot of credit for his success on the gridiron as well as the diamond to his twin brother, Broc, for helping mold him into the athlete he was.
“I owe a lot of my success, or my competitiveness, to my brother,” Larsen said. “We competed at everything. He was a tremendous boost to my confidence. We pushed each other and I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at without him.”
After graduating high school, Larsen attended Washington University in St. Louis where he was a two-sport star in both baseball and football again.
Larsen was a four year starter at Washington University, leading his teams to conference championships in 1994, 1995 and 1996. He was All-Conference First Team twice (1995, 1996) and All-Conference Second Team twice (1994, 1997). He currently ranks second in school history in career pass yards (6,713), career touchdowns (68) and career total offense (7,350 yards). He also holds the school record for longest touchdown pass (94 yards).
He was just as impressive on the baseball diamond, helping his team win a conference championship in 1995, earning first team all-conference honors in 1996 and 1998, second team all-conference honors in 1997, and was the conference Player of the Year in 1996. Larsen is currently third all time at the school in career strikeouts (253), sixth in wins (21) and ninth in career ERA (2.63).
What Larsen developed through high school and college athletics was a work ethic and attitude that has served him well.
“You get out, what you put in,” he said. “The harder you work, the luckier you are, and I know it’s not really luck, but it feels that way. The more you work, the more you put yourself in a position to succeed. You learn real quick that you didn’t get anywhere if you didn’t put the work in.”
After Larsen’s playing days came to a close, he got into coaching as an assistant with the Nevada Union freshman football team from 2006-2008. He also coaches his son in Little League.
Larsen currently lives in Grass Valley and works for Nevada Irrigation District Operation Department as a senior operations technician.
Larsen is happily married to Alisa, and they have two children, Elle, 12, and Evan, 8.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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