Football coaches tend to devote most of their attention on the next game.
Practices are geared for the upcoming contest as players learn about tendencies and possible formations used by their opponents.
While this forward thinking approach is stressed to the media, don't believe for a minute that coaches and teams aren't looking back at game films from last weekend's season opener -- trying to reflect upon some positives while also reviewing areas that need to be addressed going forward.
Win or lose, coaches are seldom a satisfied bunch.
"We got off to a great start but we really didn't do a good enough job finishing it," said veteran Jacobs coach Bill Mitz, whose team grabbed an early 14-0 lead en route to a 35-13 triumph over host Marmion last Friday night in Aurora.
"The defense played pretty well with some lapses," added Mitz. "But we can't make as many mistakes down the road as we did tonight."
Those comments came from the victorious head coach.
As for the opposite side of the field ...
"You can't give up 35 points and make a lot of first-time mistakes like we did and expect to win," said Marmion coach Dan Thorpe.
It wasn't all bad news for the Cadets, who showed the ability to run the ball against a quality Jacobs defense last weekend.
Led by quarterback Charlie Faunce (12 carries, 85 yards) and sophomore tailback Jordan Glasgow (21 carries, 80 yards), Marmion accumulated 236 rushing yards against a Jacobs team that returned nine defensive starters from last year's state playoff qualifier.
Moments after the final whistle had sounded, Thorpe put things in simple terms.
"We can't give up 35 points and we have to score more than 13 points," said Thorpe, whose team faces Fenwick this weekend.
"The sign of a good football team is how much improvement is made from Week 1 to Week 2," added Thorpe.
That is something weighing on the mind of all local coaches, especially ones like Geneva's Rob Wicinski, St. Charles East's Mike Fields, St. Charles North's Mark Gould, and Marmion's Thorpe after their respective squads suffered season-opening defeats.
There were several impressive varsity debuts turned in by area players last weekend.
None more so than the performance displayed by Batavia junior quarterback Micah Coffey during last Friday's 42-41 "Instant Classic" win over Class 8A power Glenbard North at Bulldog Stadium.
Coffey, who follows some pretty good company in older brother Jordan Coffey and 3-year starter Noel Gaspari as the Bulldogs' starting signal caller, completed 21-of-32 passes for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns while also rushing for another score and adding a 2-point conversion run.
In Aurora, senior quarterback Ryan McQuade did his best impression of former Aurora Christian standout Anthony Maddie, completing 15-of-25 passes for 256 yards and 6 touchdowns to help lift the defending Class 3A state champion Eagles to a 48-0 victory over DuSable.
St. Charles East lost its season opener for the third consecutive year but received a pair of confidence building efforts from Brannon Barry and Jimmy Mitchell in last Friday's 49-33 loss to Cary-Grove. Barry, a junior receiver, caught 7 passes for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns while quarterback Mitchell finished 10-of-17 for 150 yards and 2 TDs during their first varsity starts.
Meanwhile, sophomore tailback Jordan Glasgow rushed for 80 yards on 21 carries during Marmion's 35-13 loss to Jacobs. If the last name sounds familiar, Glasgow's older brothers, Graham and Ryan, are members of the University of Michigan football squad.
Graham, a 6-6, 305-pound redshirt freshman, is an offensive lineman, and Ryan is a 6-4, 294-pound freshman defensive lineman, while Jordan is a 6-foot, 190-pound running back.
Cry me an Upstate Eight River
While Batavia and Streamwood recorded season-opening wins last weekend, the news wasn't so good for the other 5 teams in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division. Geneva, Elgin, Larkin, St. Charles East, and St. Charles North were outscored by a combined margin of 240-86 during double-digit Week 1 defeats.
Importance of special teams
Plenty of focus is directed at quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, defensive linemen, linebackers, and secondary players on a weekly basis but often overlooked is the significance of special teams.
Geneva fumbled the ball away twice on kickoffs and snapped the ball over the head of punter Daniel Santacaterina, resulting in a 20-yard setback and loss of downs, during a 47-20 loss to Oswego.
St. Charles East had a second-quarter punt blocked and recovered in the end zone for a Cary-Grove touchdown during the Saints' 47-33 loss. The Saints also had an extra-point attempt blocked and misfired on another PAT try.
At R-B, St. Francis linebacker Connor Bolin recovered a Bulldog fumble on the game's opening kickoff, helping set up the first of 3 first-half rushing touchdowns by sophomore tailback T.J. Jackson during the Spartans' 57-12 triumph.
After posting a 21-3 homefield record the past 4 seasons, Geneva christened its new Burgess Field turf playing surface with a disappointing 27-point loss to Oswego last weekend.
Things won't get much easier for the Vikings, who travel to face Wheaton North, which was a 49-0 Game 1 winner over Bartlett, and rival Batavia the next 2 weeks before returning home to face Larkin Sept. 14.
You can reach Craig Brueske at email@example.com