Broken collarbone ends season for Antioch's Kaliakmanis
Antioch's football team won its 25th consecutive game in Northern Lake County Conference action on Friday night, but the Sequoits suffered a devastating loss.
Junior quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis suffered a non-displaced fracture of his collarbone during the Sequoits' 34-0 win over visiting Grayslake Central. The University of Minnesota commit will miss the remainder of the season.
"He got X-rays at about 10 o'clock (Saturday) morning, and it was confirmed," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said of Kaliakmanis' injury, which is to his non-throwing (left) shoulder.
"You feel bad for the kid," Glashagel added, "because these kids live for their high school sports."
The reality, Glashagel knows, is injuries happen to all teams. The Sequoits will carry on, even without the quarterback who as a sophomore last year led them to the Class 6A state quarterfinals. After beating Grayslake Central for its fifth win in a row, Antioch is 5-1 and 4-0 (alone in first) in the NLCC.
"It's adversity, man," Glashagel said. "I think we're still pretty darn good. We coach everybody up. We're prepared. With this (veteran) staff I got, we have a Plan B, Plan C. With (Andy) Bitto, (David) Proffitt, (Jim) Rejc, (Del) Pechauer, we have a Plan F. So we'll get it done."
Kaliakmanis was injured in the second quarter after his 23-yard touchdown run was called back due to a penalty. He dragged two defenders over the goal line before falling to the ground. In the process, another defender fell on top of Kaliakmanis.
"It was not a cheap shot," Glashagel said. "Athan was squeezed (while on) the ground. He just came down awkwardly."
"I just came down hard when they tackled me in the end zone," Kaliakmanis said after the game. "It was more just precautionary to keep me out. I feel fine and I'll be ready for next week."
Evan Day replaced Kaliakmanis at QB. Day started the Sequoits' Week-2 game against Woodstock North after Kaliakmanis got hurt in the season opener against Lake Forest.
"Evan's done a good job," Glashagel said. "We got a phenomenal defense (4 shutouts), we play very good special teams, and we can run the ball. I still think we should be in every game."
Meanwhile, Glashagel said senior defensive back/wide receiver Tre Watson is getting closer to returning. Watson injured his MCL against Grayslake North in Week 3 and has missed the Sequoits' last three games.
Antioch hosts Round Lake on Friday night, before traveling to rival Lakes the following Friday, Oct. 18.
"He's rehabbing, he's not on crutches anymore, spending part of the day walking without the (knee) brace," Glashagel said of Watson. "The kid is doing like pro-athlete rehab. ... Will he be ready by Lakes? I don't know. We just got to see. I'm not going to risk anything with him."