Rockford Christian takes the lead in NAC

By Marty Maciaszek
Posted8/27/2010 12:01 AM

Maybe it will just take time for egos and animosities to build.

But right now there seems to be a unique feeling when it comes to football in the second-year Northeastern Athletic Conference.


"There are some great coaches in this conference and everyone here likes one another," said Rockford Christian Life coach Chuck Leonard. "It's a pleasure to be in a conference where everyone likes each other."

Leonard also likes the chances of rival Rockford Christian (8-2, 8-1) to repeat as NAC champs. It has three of the league's premier threats in RB Arthur Ford (6-foot-3, 235 pounds), TE Drew Anderson (6-7, 230) and first-team all-NAC QB Mason Crosby.

"They'll be tough again," said Alden-Hebron coach John Lalor. "I think the rest of us are kind of in the boat of who can give them a battle."

Hebron (7-3, 7-2) was one of four NAC playoff qualifiers and Hope Academy (7-2, 7-2) was eligible but opted out of the postseason with depleted numbers.

Senior TE-LB-RB Sig Finley and junior C Jacob Walters will lead Hebron. Lalor's sophomore son Bryce takes over at quarterback.

Mooseheart (5-5, 5-4) has high numbers in the mid-40s but will still be young with only five seniors and 15 freshmen. Senior C Colton Bullock and FB-G Brendan Douglas are among the top returnees and coach Gary Urwiler likes his backfield with sophomore QB Jonathan Hart, freshman FB Prince Kollie and TB Oumara Abdulahi.

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"Those guys are going to make some stuff happen," Urwiler said.

Christian Life (5-5, 5-4) lost nine seniors but has two-time all-conference junior FB-LB Jeff Polsean (900 yards), RB Jamar Ellis and Jay Huber in the backfield in its wishbone attack. Four starters return up front.

CICS-Longwood (5-4, 5-3) just missed the playoffs and lost some key players. Kenneth Cooksey (OL-DE), Larry Merriweather (RB-OLB) and LeSean Henry (LB-FB) will lead the way.

Kirkland Hiawatha (5-4, 4-4) also appears to be on the rise. North Shore Country Day (2-7, 2-7) has tremendous size that includes sophomore move-in and two-way tackle Joel Hylton (6-3, 280) from Pennsylvania to go with receiver David Deuble.

Christian Liberty (0-9, 0-9) expects to see more progress in its second full varsity season with RB-DB David Sotomayor, two-way linemen Nate Cavanaugh and Tyler Canoy and sophomore QB John Dulinsky.

"What I do like about our conference is you can't take a week off," Urwiler said. "The competitiveness and the teams that make up the conference is something to be reckoned with."