Antioch relieved it got to play, now looks forward to Cary-Grove matchup
No football team wants to go bye-bye this time of year.
And Antioch definitely didn't want a bye either.
The Sequoits were relieved that the Chicago teachers strike was resolved last week in time for their game against Chicago Mather. Had the strike not been resolved, Antioch would have won by forfeit.
But the game was played and the Sequoits got a 57-0 win that was beneficial to them on multiple fronts.
It was Antioch's fifth shutout of the season.
"We are so glad we had a game," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "We are routine animals. We needed to play. We were way better off having a game than a bye."
All the Sequoits were better off.
Because Antioch was up 34-0 by halftime, Glashagel was able to liberally sub in his reserves right after halftime.
That gave Antioch's starters some extra time to rest up for this week's second round game against Cary-Grove, and it gave the reserves valuable experience.
"At this point in the season, it's fine to get your starters out. It's a war of attrition now on a lot of rosters. There are a lot of injuries and guys dinged up. If you can get your starters off the field and get them some rest and keep them healthy, that's good.
"And it's also good to get all your other kids in, too. We played a lot of guys and you want to get (reserves) playing time in a playoff situation if you can."
Finally healthy: After missing the majority of the season with a knee injury, Antioch wide receiver TreShawn Watson is finally back.
Watson has spent most of the fall rehabbing an MCL injury, and that left the Antioch offense without one of its best receiving threats.
"Tre has really done a ton of exercises and stretches and all kinds of things to get back," Antioch coach Brian Glashagel said. "We used him sparingly (in the first round against Mather last week). It was almost like a scrimmage for him. But it was so good to see him back out there."
Not this time: It was just one year ago that Antioch coach Brian Glashagel was watching Cary-Grove run through a playoff practice.
Suffice it to say, he hasn't done that this year.
Glashagel's Sequoits are taking on host Cary-Grove at 1 p.m. on Saturday in a Class 6A second-round playoff game.
Cary-Grove is the defending Class 6A undefeated (14-0) state champion from 2018.
"So last year, we lost to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals and then Cary-Grove was going to play Notre Dame the next week in the semifinals and I'm a football junkie and I thought it would be interesting to see how Cary-Grove was going to prepare for the team we just lost to," Glashagel said. "So I called (Cary-Grove coach) Brad Seaburg to ask if we could come watch them practice and he was great about it.
"It was fun to see how (Cary-Grove) did things and how they prepare. They do things the right way and they've got great coaches and they've really gotten their players to buy into their system."
So does Glashagel feel more confident about facing Cary-Grove after getting such a close-up look at the Trojans during their championship run last season?
"Well, I'm not sure there really is an inside scoop here," Glashagel said with a laugh. "When you play a top-notch program like Cary-Grove, you might know what they're going to do, but you still might not be able to stop it. We are having to go play the state champs on their field. It will be a tall task for us."
Camp days: It wasn't that long ago that the Hersey coach Joe Pardun and Lake Zurich coach Ron Planz were on the same side.
On Saturday, their teams will be clashing in a Class 7A second-round playoff game.
But for many years in the recent past, Pardun used to take his teams to summer camp at Elmhurst College, where Pardun was the head coach until he took the job at Lake Zurich prior to this season.
"We would work with the kids, but we also worked with the coaches from Hersey on professional development. We'd look at film, we'd talk about their seasons and what they wanted to improve on and their goals," Planz said. "It was fun to work with (Pardun) and they've got a great program there (at Hersey).
"I just talked to (Pardun) and I was telling him how I really enjoy preparing for programs that I really respect, where the coaches are really good and the way they do things is the right way. That's how I see the program at Hersey."