You've got to feel for Grant senior Jake Bychowski.
The talented quarterback and running back and defender hasn't ever finished a full season for the Bulldogs. And clearly, it's not because he can't find a place in the lineup.
Bychowski has been riddled with injuries over the course of his bright but brief career. The latest is an ankle injury that occurred in last week's Libertyville game.
Headed to the sideline, Bychowski got wrapped up at the last second and so did his ankle. He tore three ligaments and is scheduled to have surgery next week.
"I think it's been hard for him," Grant coach Kurt Rous said. "Every year, he's had a bad injury and now this. He's coming to practice. He's on the sideline on crutches. But he's pretty devastated."
Last year, Bychowski missed time with an elbow injury and a concussion.
As a sophomore, he was brought up to the varsity but suffered leg and knee injuries.
"Now, we've got to find a quarterback," said Rous, who lost his starting quarterback last year when Kyle Whitman went down with an injury. Bychowski filled in for him until he later got hurt himself.
Rous will now go with either Jason Bach, the back-up to Bychowski last season or Simeon Tate, a transfer from Carmel.
"They've been splitting reps back and forth in practice and it will probably be close (to a game-time decision)," Rous said of Bach and Tate. "We might even make changes between them in the game and rotate back and forth."
Dr. and Mr.:
Sometimes, Antioch coach Brian Glashagel isn't sure about which team he's going to get.
Will it be the well-oiled Dr. Jeykll or the nasty, mistake-making Mr. Hyde?
"At times, our offense looks prolific and you can see all the great weapons we have at running back and quarterback and wide receiver and tight end. We got 450 yards of offense in our first game," said Glashagel, specifically citing the work of running backs Griffin Hill and Alan Taylor and quarterback Zach Andre. "But we still lost the game because we also had 4 turnovers. We had 4 turnovers in our second game, too, and that was a loss.
"We'll be locked in and we'll be great to watch, then all of a sudden we'll have these brain farts."
To clear the air, so to speak, on the turnovers and costly mistakes, Glashagel is using a tried-and-true method of gaining his players' sharpest focus.
"We just run," Glashagel said. "Every time we jump off sides, make a silly mistake, we just run."
Antioch had only one turnover last week against North Chicago.
No passing fancy:
A big target at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, senior tight end Tyler Lazarz is a big reason Antioch is passing more this season than normal.
After missing the season opener, he has about 10 catches in the last two games, including 4 catches last week against North Chicago. The run-oriented, option-loving Sequoits totaled 8 catches for 142 yards in that game, and quarterback Zach Andre attempted 13 passes, which is a lot by Antioch standards.
"He's got great size, speed and hands," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said of Lazarz. "We've got some weapons like Tyler to throw to this year and I think you'll see us do that more."
Quote of the day:
Grant coach Kurt Rous is married to wife Kirsten, a long-time athletic trainer at Vernon Hills. He was joking with her this week about Vernon Hills, the team Grant plays this week, moving away from the option offense, the same offense Grant runs, in favor of a pass-oriented offense: "I told her I don't even recognize her school anymore. I said that I miss the days when Vernon Hills did everything we did. It was much easier to prepare for them."