Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/12/2013 9:48 PM

No time to waste in football season

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  • Michael Kolzow of Naperville central,left, is pulled down by Godfrey Collins of Neuqua Valley during game action Friday in Naperville.

      Michael Kolzow of Naperville central,left, is pulled down by Godfrey Collins of Neuqua Valley during game action Friday in Naperville.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer


High school football is unlike any sporting animal.

Blink and you may miss it.

Players are guaranteed only nine shots on the field. With that in mind, "Eyes on Five" looks at making every moment count.

1. Plan "Uh oh":

Has the DuPage Valley Conference really been reduced to this?

One of the state's premier leagues becomes sliced from eight schools to six at the end of this school year due to the pending departure to the Upstate Eight Conference by Glenbard East and West Aurora. Because no schools are champing at the bit to join the DVC, drastic measures may be needed to keep football afloat.

Faced with an overwhelming struggle to find midseason opponents to replace Glenbard East and West Aurora on the schedule, DVC football teams may play two of its teams twice. That's right, Glenbard North playing Wheaton North and Naperville Central twice a season.

While the possible matchups haven't been announced publicly, the schools did randomly decide the matchups.

It's been an exhausting process getting to this point. DVC football teams struggle just to find Week 1 and 2 nonconference teams because few other schools want to face the stiff competition.

There are other conferences in need of midseason opposition, but so far none have agreed to cross over with the DVC. In-state and out-of-state possibilities remain, but alternate schedules have been drawn up for each scenario.

Sounds like the DVC exhausted Plans A, B and C. Let's hope they don't get too much deeper into the alphabet.

2. Love-hate:

It's easy to develop a love-hate relationship with football.

I love the start of the season, love the buildup to Friday night, love standing on the sideline watching the top teams and top players compete every week.

I hate injuries. And last week the hate side of my relationship with football kicked up a notch.

On the same Friday night Benet running back Porter Ontko and Naperville Central defensive lineman Cole Wooldridge went down with knee injuries. Both will miss the remainder of their senior season.

Every football player lives for senior year and the opportunity for their time to shine. As mentioned earlier, they're guaranteed only nine nights under the lights. To see Ontko and Wooldridge denied the full season they worked so hard for is tough to accept.

Injuries are a part of the game, but I reserve the right to hate them.

3. Cloning machine wanted:

Why can't the Wheaton Warrenville South-Wheaton North and Downers Grove North-Glenbard West games be played in different weeks? In other words, why can't I be in two places at once Friday night?

It's strange seeing these titanic matchups this early in the season, but the schedule rotation for the DVC and West Suburban Conference shifted the games to the top. For Week 3 this is about as big as conference matchups get.

"For this early in the year, I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a big game," said Downers North coach John Wander.

There are more than 30 opportunities to see every basketball or baseball team in a given season, but in a nine-game schedule it's impossible to see every football team.

I'll be covering the cross-town game at WW South on Friday, but I'll be more than a little anxious about how the Glenbard West-Downers North game is going.

4. Leveled:

In Week 1 West Chicago's sophomore team didn't get to play because King didn't have enough players to field a team.

Fenton's sophomores, meanwhile, missed out on a game Saturday against Walther Lutheran for the same reason. What's even tougher for Fenton is that the Bison sophomores were canceled in Week 1 because of the stormy weather.

That means Fenton's sophomore team hasn't played yet. Twenty percent of the season ... gone.

As mentioned Week 1 in this space, playing levels may be in jeopardy in the near future due to decreasing participation numbers in football. Unfortunately, the situations faced by West Chicago and Fenton are just a sign of the times.

5. Stat time:

So how did your favorite conference perform during nonconference play? Here's a nonscientific breakdown of the local leagues ...

Suburban Christian Blue: 12-0 (1.000)

East Suburban Catholic: 14-4 (. 778)

DuPage Valley: 11-5 (. 668)

West Suburban Silver: 9-5 (. 643)

Suburban Christian Gold: 7-5 (. 583)

Interstate Eight Small: 5-7 (. 417)

Metro Suburban: 4-6 (. 400)

Upstate Eight Valley: 2-12 (. 143)

West Suburban Gold: 1-13 (. 071)

Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevin_schmit

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