Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Foresters Play for a Cause--and a Teammate!

On Saturday, the Foresters hosted the Grinnell Pioneers for the Foresters’ fourth game of the season. In the end, the Foresters were defeated by a score of 41-20. However, Coach Cat and the Foresters took more away from the game than what the scoreboard read at the end. On Saturday, as with every game, the Foresters were playing for a cause.

Saturday, September 25th, marked the national “Coach to Cure MD” program throughout the country. Each year, football coaches from colleges and universities across the United States rally to support the fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The most common fatal condition amongst young men, DMD is a genetic disorder that causes muscles to rapidly deteriorate. The average life expectancy of a person with DMD is 25 years.

When Coach Cat was asked how the “Coach to Cure MD” program impacted the Lake Forest College community, he said, “I hope that first and foremost it has helped raise awareness of this disease. There are very few diseases that affect young men so specifically. I know that when the day is over, we may not raise funds at the level they may at Michigan or Ohio State, but I do know that we have been able to engage students, faculty, and fans in a discussion about DMD."

During Saturday’s game against Grinnell, the Foresters fought valiantly to catch up to the Pioneers. When asked what happened on the field, Coach Cat said, “On the field, we had a chance. After the fumble (forced by Luke Butts) we had a very advantageous field position on the 41-yard line. We had two big plays, a pass to Ty Van Valkenburg, and then a rush by Geoff Sobey. Those two plays made it first and ten at the 11-yard line. On third down and seven, we gave up a sack on a missed protection, and this led to a 4th down that was not in our field goal range against the wind. We decided to go for it, unsuccessfully. To Grinnell's credit, they capitalized on two very uncharacteristic penalties on the next drive. Our only two seniors that were on the field, both committed personal foul penalties. They were then able to hit another deep pass against our deep zone coverage. They were up 14 at that point, and we put together a drive that dips us into the red-zone for the second series in a row. Unfortunately, a holding penalty put us in a long down and distance situation. We weren't able to convert from there. I believe that if we had scored on either of those drives, we would have been able to put more pressure on Grinnell to answer us. Those were two pivotal points that we needed to convert on.”

The Foresters have been at work again this week preparing for this weekend’s game against Carroll University. Coach Cat said, “I think that over the course of this week, our players will be focused on taking that next step. In our last three games, we have had a chance to take the lead, and we have been unsuccessful in doing so. We need to take that next step in order to break our streak.”

Looking forward to this weekend, we end on a note of remembrance. During last Saturday’s game, the Lake Forest College community celebrated the life of Benny Watters by honoring him with a moment of noise. Coach Cat commented, "Pre-game, we had a moment of noise for Benny. We didn't think that a traditional ‘moment of silence’ really fit Benny's personality, or his relationship with our guys. I think it was a great gesture, and I know that he was looking down cheering us on. I was really honored that his mom and dad, and two sisters joined us for the Forester Walk in the morning as well.”

Always looking ahead, but never forgetting to look behind--let’s go Foresters!

--Elise Beckman, contributing author

Photos: (L) Coach Cat wears his "Coach to Cure MD" patch. (R) Junior Josh Kabala catches the ball. (Photo Credit: Scott Sanford '14)

Grinnell College POTW Announced

The Lake Forest College Football team is pleased to announce the Forest Football Player of the Week award winners.

On Offense, Kevin Davis had 7 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. All were career highs. The junior from South Elgin High School, had a breakout performance. This game was his most prolific of his career. In four games this year, Kevin has more yards, and touchdowns than he had in his entire career coming into the season. He needs one catch to pass his previous career total. Kevin's has scored more than half of the Foresters touchdowns on the season.

On Defense, junior Kenny Clady-Mason recorded his second Player of the Week Honors. Kenny had 5 tackles, including 2 tackles for a loss, and was a disruptive force along the defensive line all day long for the Foresters. KCM was often double team, and his opponent was called for three holding calls on the day. Kenny played his high school football at Corliss High School in Chicago.

On Special Teams, freshman Alex Gracia made his impression felt. In addition to having a few solid blocks on kick return, Alex also excelled as a gunner on the punt team. Gracia also had three kick returns for 81 yards. The first year Forester played his high school football at Dysart High School in Willow Canyon, AZ.

The week #4 scout team player of the week was Tanner Daugherty. Tanner, a freshman from Sheboygan North High School in Wisconsin, has been returning from an off-season injury and over the last two weeks has really been putting pressure on the offense to be successful. During the week, Tanner had multiple pass breakups, including an interception.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Illinois College

The Forester football program announced their players of the week from the Illinois College game on Monday.

The offensive player of the week was junior offensive lineman Gil Munoz, who had a tremendous day blocking for the Foresters. Munoz, who is charged with making all of the line adjustments performed at a very high level, and did not give up a sack in the game against the Blueboys. Gil attended De La Salle High School in Chicago.

The defensive player of the week was outside linebacker Tanner Compton. The senior from Macon, Missouri, had a great game recording his second career interception, and leading the Foresters with 8 unassisted tackles and 14 overall. Compton also served as the intensity leader of the Foresters and helped keep the defense working hard through 100 plays.

The special teams player of the week was senior punter Anthony Garetto. Garetto, who was the defensive player of the week last week, had a tremendous game punting for the Foresters. His leg accounted for three significant changes in field position, and twiced pinned the Blueboys deep in their own territory, including a 2nd quarter punt that pinned them on their own two yard line. Of his 6 punts, two were downed inside the 20, and two were fair caught. His 36.5 yard net punting average was outstanding considering the windy conditions in Jacksonville. Anthony played his high school ball at Marist High School in Chicago.

The scout team player of the week was sophomore running back Thomas Wilson. Thomas, who played his prep football at Culver Military Academy, bounced back from a nagging finger injury and provided a tremendous look for the Forester defense. His running ability was put on display and has provided the coaches with some enthusiasm towards his playmaking ability for the next couple of weeks.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Foresters Suffer a Tough Loss on the Road

The Foresters suffered another tough loss this weekend at Illinois College. After the game on Saturday, I had a chance to catch up with Coach Cat. When asked about what he thought of the game, Coach Cat said, “We had a tough game today. Every time we started to push forward, we shot ourselves in the foot. A fumble here, an interception here, a penalty there. We just couldn’t put together a clean game.”

While the game did not end as Coach Cat and the Foresters were hoping, he did mention some positives that were seen on Saturday. He said, “On a positive note, our defense played with a lot of grit after finding themselves in some difficult field positions. They were on the field for 100 plays on Saturday. On offense, our offensive line only gave up 1 sack in 50 pass attempts.”

Coach Cat continued, saying, “I think that we, as coaches, need to focus on getting our run game to be better. We have a great tailback in senior Brock Stenberg and we need to make sure that we get him more touches. On defense, we need to get more pressure on the quarterback. To not record a sack today with the number of blitzes that we dialed up, it means that we aren’t finishing the plays up front.”

This week, the Foresters will be looking forward to a tough week of practice before they take on the Grinnell College Pioneers (2-1 overall) on Saturday. In conclusion, Coach Cat said, “I am looking forward to getting a good week of practice in before we return to Farwell Field next week against Grinnell.”

Here’s hoping that the Foresters will be able to put together all that they have been learning to finally put a W on the board. We hope to see you all at the game!

--Elise Beckman, contributing author

Monday, September 13, 2010


OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior running back, Brock Stenberg, ran for 113 yards on 20 carries. His 44 yard run near the end of the first quarter was a huge emotional boost for the Foresters. In addition to his running, Brock was extremely solid in his pass protection for the Foresters. Brock is from Grand Haven, Michigan and attended Grand Haven High School.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior linebacker, Anthony Garetto, led the Foresters with 11 solo tackles and an assisted tackle. He had perhaps his best game of his career playing sideline to sideline and attempting to contain Ripon's running attack. Anthony is from Orland Park, Illinois and attended Marist High School.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior wide receiver, Kevin Davis, was a force on the coverage teams. He personally forced two fair catches on punt coverage, and was a disruptive force in the kick coverage as well. Kevin is from South Elgin, Illinois and attended South Elgin High School.

SCOUT TEAM PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman tight end, Quernellus Jones, was nominated by the offensive coaches for his work as a defensive end on the scout team in the teams preparation for Ripon. Quernellus is from Chicago, Illinois and attended Lincoln Park High School.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friend, Teammate, and Forester Role Model Passes Away

Quite possibly the hardest thing that I have had to do as a head coach occurred this morning as I had to inform our players that Benny Waters, our adopted brother from the Friends of Jaclyn organization passed away this morning at home with his family.

My heart has never ached this heavily, and I know along with our players that this is a moment that we will not forget. We were fortunate to get to know Benny through his battle with cancer, and he will live in our hearts forever.

In the last year, Benny had become a fixture of enthusiasm and excitement on our team and campus. He had joined the players for lunches (Chicken nuggets were his favorite), attended practices, our games -- both home and away, he had done pumpkin carving, mini-golf, and numerous other activities with his "big brothers."

As Benny's condition worsened, he still made it a point to come and see his brothers. His lemonade stand at our most recent game was a huge hit. Our team, and school are blessed with a number of cherished memories that we will celebrate for a long time. We know that whenever we take the field, our biggest fan will be watching down on us.

I hope that all of you will help keep Benny's sisters Bella and Lily, and his parents Brendan and Lisa in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

- Coach Cat

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Foresters Learn From Game Against Concordia!

On Saturday, the Foresters welcomed the Concordia University of Chicago Cougars to Farwell Field for the Foresters’ first game of the season! Although the Foresters were defeated with a final score of 52-23, there are many positive lessons to be taken from this year’s season opener.

Five outstanding players from the game were Brock Stenberg, who had 23 carries for 99 yards, 3 catches for 20 yards and a touchdown; Austin Sobey, who had 5 carries for 82 yards; Luke Butts, who had 10 tackles during the game; Kenny Clady-Mason, who had 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble; and, Tanner Compton, who had 5 tackles and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Following the game, the general consensus is that the Foresters have plenty to work on, but show great potential this season. Coach Cat said, “I am confident that our team will mature greatly before the next time that we are on Farwell Field. Of the 22 starters on Saturday, for 13 of them, this was their first start as a college athlete. There is no doubt that you will see tremendous improvement from our team now that we have experienced ‘game speed’ as opposed to practice speed. Concordia had that opportunity a week before us with a scrimmage, and it took us a quarter or two to get some of our wrinkles out. [Editor note: Midwest Conference schools are not allowed to scrimmage another school during their preseason.] I think individually, you'll see better play from Justin Novak as he continues to get some experience under his belt. His performance as the game went on was encouraging for the upcoming games."

As the Foresters work through this season, they will be refining how they play football as a team. When asked about the game, sophomore linebacker Aidan Price said, “Obviously, I am disappointed about the outcome, and we have a lot to work on. However, we are a young team, and I am excited about the potential that the freshmen show.”

When asked how the team reacted to the outcome of the game, Coach Cat said, “Our team got caught up in playing the game, and forgot about some of the basic fundamentals that they have been practicing for three weeks. I know that when our guys watched the film on Sunday there was a lot of head shaking. The reaction that many of them had was, ‘Wow, what was I thinking?’ or ‘I didn't realize I was doing that.’ This is why video watching is so important for football players. They can really see what they are doing, as opposed to what they think they are doing. I look forward to our guys using this game as a learning experience as we prepare to open up conference play against Ripon."

Midwest Conference play officially begins this coming Saturday, as the Foresters go on the road to take on Ripon!

-Elise Beckman, contributing author


Forester Football Players of the Week Announced:

The Coaching Staff at Lake Forest announced their players of the week for the first week of the 2010 season.

Offensive Player of the Week: #12 Austin Sobey: The sophomore WR in his first collegiate start recorded 5 catches for 81 yards. His blocking was also a point of emphasis by the coaching staff.

Defensive Player of the Week: #95 Kenny Clady-Mason: The junior defensive end recorded 8 tackles, 2 TFL's, 1 Sack, and Kenny forced a fumble that lead to a touchdown by temmate Tanner Compton.

Special Teams Player of the Week: #2 Domnick Campagna: The sophomore transfer averaged 61.2 yards per kick off on an extremely windy day at Farwell Field. The hang time component, coupled with great coverage limited the return game for Concordia to 13 yards per return.

Scout Team Player of the Week: #34 Brock Ungvarsky: The offensive coaches nominated the Junior Cornerback for his all-around effort and willingness to do "anything to make the offense better."

Congratulations to all four players for this accomplishment.