Sequoit football grows to be more of a family rather than a team every year. Many have grown up together playing little league football like Antioch Vikings or Lake Villa Timberwolves, and then the athletes come to high school where, a lot of the time, it is the last time for some playing the game they love under the Friday night lights.
The football players work together through all the blood, sweat, and tears to play the game they love. They wake up for early morning lifting and practice over the summer to hit the grind for only three or four months of play time. As the team headed to the playoffs, looking back to where it all started can add a positive light for an accomplished team. Looking back over the season can help get the team motivated and also gets the community ready to support all of the hard work our athletes put in to come out with a win.
All in all, the team has improved in many aspects but the two biggest areas they have improved in is on offense and during the off season.
Head varsity coach Brian Glashagel said, “Offensively, we have more playmakers on offense than we did a year ago, thus creating more explosive plays this year. This year’s team worked hard in the off season, improving on their strength and conditioning. Off season weight room was impressive. We are smaller than most of the teams we play, but our strength is excellent. What I like most about this team than past teams is that they hate to lose. It’s a really competitive group. In close games I feel like we have the advantage. When all is said and done, I believe we’re looking at one of the best teams the school’s ever had.”
Summer practices are always the hardest underneath the summer swelter. Running hills, typical drills and circuits are only a few examples of what the boys have to go through at the average practice. All 46 varsity athletes came to practice ready to work.
Glashagel said, “The guys on the team that don’t get much playing time, but work hard in practice make the team better everyday. The whole team bears crawling up a muddy hill in June to get better physically and mentally. Wearing 40 pounds of football equipment on a 95 degree day. All of that is a highlight for a football coach to see.”
During the summer, the football team got to vote for the captains of the 2014 season. “Well we have leaders by example, vocal leaders etc. Truth is we had almost every senior receive votes for captain, but a certain four lead the leaders,” said Glashagel. “I think Matt Stiglic is vocal and energetic. Grant Hackeloer is the silent type and let’s his play on the field do the talking. Alan Taylor has been on varsity for three years now and is the savvy veteran. Zach Rundle leads by example and does everything 100 percent all of the time. So yes, I would say they compliment each other very well. Maybe the most diverse group of captains I have ever had.”
Having such a big group of seniors who all showed leadership qualities is what is needed on a football team.
Senior captain Grant Hackeloer said, “It felt great knowing that my hard work had payed off and that my teammates thought that highly of me to represent them.”
Winning isn’t everything. Win or lose by the scoreboard, the team is winning if they all play the game they love and put all their determination into each play hiked. No matter if they are a leader or a just a teammate, everyone’s efforts, on and off the field, determine the end of the game’s results.
The highlights of this years season has been endless for the coaches, captains, and fellow athletes to decide.
From a coaches point-of-view, Glashagel said, “There is a highlight at almost every game. Throw in the Cardinal Crazies, band, cheerleaders, and dancers; what an exciting atmosphere to be in.”
Hackeloer pointed out the highlight for defense for the season and the team’s bond, “Definitely stopping Lakes’ offense at the goal line at the end of the first half was a big accomplishment for us, but our goal every game is to improve ourselves from the previous game. Which I believe we always seem to do. After every practice and game we break out with ‘Family!’ but this year it feels like we are closer than ever. We trust each other on and off of the field, and we will always have each other’s backs in any given situation.”
Senior Tim Christian pointed out the the highlights for offense for the season, “Our ability to make calls on the field and base ourselves off of our opponent. We are always changing things in the huddle which helps us run a better play in the long run. My favorite memory was winning the game against Glenbard South beause they were an elite, playoff team who we had lost to last year, so it was a great feeling to get revenge for a big team win.”
With this being the last year for the seniors, what will they really miss most about high school football?
Speaking for many of the seniors, Christian said, “I am going to miss being under those lights on Fridays with my best friends.”
There are many Sequoits seeking out to colleges to pursue a football career. “Alan Taylor, Jacob Lanahan, Griffin Hill, Brandon Wagener, John Haeffele, and myself are going to colleges and talking to their football program.” said Hackeloer.
Having multiple injuries this season, one player never got the chance to play his senior year. Senior captain, Zach Rundle reflects on his teammates and gives a small recap of what he has seen thus far in the season.
“Not one individual has improved, but we have improved as a whole because we all have to work together to get something done. The biggest thing I miss most about football, that I feel gets ignored by other athletes during their season, is actually playing. I would do anything to be back playing on Friday nights. By the time summer came, I was so excited to finally play football since I only played a few times junior year, and to have it end so quickly as it did, sucks. A bonus for me this season though is being voted in as captain. I felt accomplished, but I knew being a captain would be very challenging, but I want to do what is best for the team.”
For next season, Glashagel said, “They are a very special group that needs to have a great off season. And if they do, we can be hoisting up trophies!”
To the future varsity football players for the 2015 season, make your current seniors proud and come back and fight for the Sequoit name. Come and support your athletes and experience the newly designed stadium when the school obtains the eight lane track and turf field! Make a statement, leave everything out on the field, and come out with a win.