Naperville Central, Glenbard East get back on track

  • Glenbard East's Dillon Williams tries to slip past South Elgin's Isaiah C. Alejandre in a loss on Sept. 2. The Rams rebounded by beating West Chicago last week.

      Glenbard East's Dillon Williams tries to slip past South Elgin's Isaiah C. Alejandre in a loss on Sept. 2. The Rams rebounded by beating West Chicago last week. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Miazga
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/14/2022 9:21 PM

Naperville Central turned things around in a big way in a week's time.

After a tough loss to Plainfield North in Week 2, the Redhawks got back at it and came away with a 44-8 win last week against Riverside University/Meir out of Milwaukee.

 

"I think that Week 2 loss to Plainfield North really forced us to evaluate what type of team we need to be in order to beat the best teams on our schedule," Naperville Central coach Mike Ulreich said. "I think we took some strides in practice last week and on Friday to move in that direction."

Ulreich gave a large dose of praise to the team's second units.

"I think the thing that stood out most last week was the play of our second units in the second half," he said. "We loved how well those guys played. They are scout team guys all week, so it was great to see them execute against an opponent."

Grant Ellinger and Caleb Brown are among those who have stepped it up of late for Central.

"Grant Ellinger has had a great start to his varsity career at left tackle," Ulreich said. "Caleb Brown continues to create explosive plays in our return game."

Glenbard East update:

After losing to South Elgin in Week 2, the Rams got right back on track with a decisive win against West Chicago.

"Week 3 we were pretty solid in all three phases," Rams coach John Walters said. "I was pleased with our play. I really feel like we showed growth in Week 3, especially on offense. I like the fact we had multiple contributors."

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In two of East's first threegames, it had a 100-yard rusher.

"What's better is it was two different players," Walters pointed out.

Lake Park update:

The Lancers got into the win column against St. Charles East last week in a game where they rushed for almost 300 yards.

"Rushing for almost 300 yards was a great feeling," Lancers coach Chris Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick said quarterback Michael McCormick has been responsible for all Lake Park's touchdowns this season either with his legs or arm. Plus, he's turned the ball over only three times this season.

"For a junior quarterback getting his first experience on varsity, it is a very exciting start for him," Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick also has been pleased with his team's defensive progress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Through the first three games our defense has played very, very well," he said. "The first two week scores might not reflect it, but our offense put the defense in a hole early in those games."

Waubonsie Valley update:

Warriors coach Tom Baumgartner isn't hitting the panic button by any stretch.

"At 0-3 it is obviously not how you would draw up the start of a season," he said. "However, our team is in a good spot mentally and we really just need to keep grinding into DVC (DuPage Valley Conference) play."

Tommy Moriarty has impressed the coaching staff with his play thus far.

"Tommy is playing both ways on the line and has been a productive player in all three games," Baumgartner said.

Likewise, Baumgartner said, for the exploits of Jay Keeley.

"This kid keeps working hard through good and bad," he said.

Wheaton Academy update:

Warriors coach Jim Johanik took a little time to reflect on the progress of the program.

"I took a step back this last week and reflected on all the times in the past decade we had it handed to us by other programs," he said. "This last week, we were on the other end, knocking out an opponent early who once had our number.

"This shift is indicative of the positive culture and rich coaching experience we have here at the Academy.

"We have some way to go to break into the upper echelon of Illinois high school football, but we are a program people are at least talking about.

"We are healthy and we are 3-0, something you never take for granted as a coach. We're heading into the toughest part of our schedule in the next three weeks and would like to come out of it as strong as we came into it."

Senior quarterback Belay Brummel has thrown 10 touchdowns to seven different receivers without throwing an interception. In fact, Johanik noted Brummel hasn't thrown a pick in 14 games.

"The day is coming where he will throw an interception, but his reads, his ball velocity and placement, and his footwork are the reasons for his success," he said.

St. Francis update:

Spartans coach Bob McMillen gives his group a solid B after three games, particularly after last week's win against St. Edward.

"We played some starters the first series and after that allowed the second and third guys to play," McMillen said. "They got some quality work in.

"We got better because this past game we worked on our team depth. Instead of letting the nonstarters get time in noncompetitive situations, we let them play a whole game so they would understand and be ready when their time comes."

The 3-0 Spartans have excelled on defense, particularly against the run.

In the first three games, St. Francis has held all its opponents to under 40 rushing yards each game.

"We are playing really well against the run," McMillen said. "The kids are flying around and making plays all over the field."

Offensive lineman Antonio Gutierrez (6-2, 330) and quarterback Alessio Milivojevic continue to impress.

"Antonio is starting to be more physical on run blocking and moving better on pass," McMillen said. "Alessio really is starting to take control of this offense. He is understanding more and more where to go with the football and is making sure guys are in the correct spots."

Glenbard North update:

Coach Ryan Wilkens gave a big shout out to David Petty for his efforts thus far through three games.

"David Petty has been our best defender both in the pass and run games," he said.

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