Football: New year, new look

The football team takes on cross-town rival Anchor Bay in their fourth game of the season. The game was held on the Tars’ turf.

The football team takes on cross-town rival Anchor Bay in their fourth game of the season. The game was held on the Tars’ turf.

Nick Piwko ‘14

Photographer

 

It has been a long six months for the LCN Varsity Football Team. During the summer, other students were at home sleeping during the summer, while the team was up early training to better themselves. Team members know that they need to work harder than other teams to reach their goals..

“Our goals for the season are quite simple: we would like to win all of our first home games, which we accomplished that; next, we need to win the MAC Blue, and then we have to win all of our home games. When we make those goals, we will make the playoff and then hopefully make a run,” Varsity Head Coach Anthony Kiner said.

The coaching staff really benefits the team. What makes them so beneficial is that football has been a part of all of their lives for a long time.

“Great players make great coaches, so when you have a talented group of running backs like I do, I look like Vince Lombardi,” Assistant Coach Brian Anderson said. “It does look like there is some improvement at the running back position. It’s a talented group so, as far as me, I haven’t gotten in the way so I’ll give myself a lot of credit in that regard, but overall the kids have done really well and they work hard.”

All summer long, the team was up before 8 a.m. for practice, and they were ready to go as soon as possible because no one wanted to be late.

“If you are late for practice, that means we have to run. No one wanted to be that guy that made everyone run because it wouldn’t be fun for you after when we strapped up our pads,” said Mason Thomas ‘14.

Knowing everyone else was comfy in their beds at home, the guys were there from 8-10 a.m. They worked hard, dripping in sweat, trying to be the best and fight for their positions. Even on the weekends, team members took no days off. The coaches weren’t forcing them to go on Sundays, but they secretly did.

“The running backs had a slogan this off season called no days off. Literally, every week when there wasn’t a day when there was a football activity planned, they were at the field doing agility drills or learning new plays. I actually had to convince them that they had to take Sunday off or they are going to wear their bodies down and even then, I’m not sure if they listened,” Coach Anderson said.

Before the season starts, most teams make a seven-on-seven team. The seven-on-seven team is every position on the field except the big linemen on both sides of the ball. The team traveled all over including to Toledo, Ohio, and Wayne State University to play in a seven-on-seven tournament. They even hosted some seven-on-seven games

“The seven-on-seven games really help me being a quarterback because then I can get a feel for my wide receivers running their routes hard. Plus it gives us more competition instead of going against our own [defensive backs]. so there is always a good look for us and, all in all, it makes us better. We can learn a lot from it because we know what passing routes work,” Sean Koski ‘14 said.

Players really stepped up this summer and it was much-needed, especially because most of the starters last year were seniors and are now off to college. This team’s seniors knew that all the alumni worked extremely hard so they needed to keep the tradition going to make a playoff run.

“I would say there is not one specific player I can put down but there are two that really made me proud as a coach, and the first is Alex Bond. He really made strides from what he was last year to what he has become this year. He’s become an extended part of our offense. The second would be Frank DeVos. For a kid who is playing his first year of football, you can’t even tell that he is a first-year football player. I think he has a bright future if he continues working hard,” Assistant Coach Jordan Belfiori said.

“The cheerleaders are definitely our biggest fans because they are at every game and they are always cheering no matter what the score is. They also help by getting the student section loud and cheering,” Josh Alanskas ‘14 said.

Everyone joins in on the cheers the cheer team is chanting. Everyone shows their school spirit by dressing in black and gold, and packing themselves into the student section of the bleachers.

To kick off the season, the Crusaders traveled to Warren Cousino and took a 42-37 victory. Quarterback Koski threw four touchdown passes and ran one in himself. This sent the Crusaders back home with smiling faces, ready to play their next game.

The home opener against Grosse Pointe South was a great game with an exciting finish. The Crusaders knew it would be a tough game and a fight to the finish. Whoever won this game knew they were in position to win the MAC Blue title.

With four minutes and 30 seconds left, the Crusaders were down by 10 with their defense out on the field. They knew they needed to make a defensive stand, so they did what they needed to do. Koski got the ball in his hands once again and threw to Connor Carbary ’14 for a touchdown to tighen up the game. Seconds later, Bond recovered the onside kick. The Crusaders knew they needed a touchdown then or Grosse Pointe South would leave with the victory.

After a crushing penalty and three seconds left on the clock, Koski stepped up in the pocket and found Trevor Conklin ’15 only a few yards away from the end zone and open. He spun into the end zone for the Crusader victory.

The Crusaders hit the road again, this time to face Grosse Pointe North. The Crusaders took a seven-point lead in the first quarter. But Grosse Pointe came right back with another touchdown. The Crusaders trailed the Norsemen throughout and suffered a 33-21 loss, their first of the season.

The team still has enough games to redeem themselves after the tough loss against GPN to make a playoff run.