Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coach Cat and JR Offensive Lineman Sal Perales compete in Iron Chef Competition

Lake Forest College hosted their third annual Iron Chef Competition on March 24th. The Forester Football team was represented in the competition for the second straight year. After finishing second in 2010, Coach Cat was a last minute substitute for a faculty member who fell ill. With less than 72 hours to prepare a menu and get a sous chef, Coach put together a menu that would make most mouths water. Incorporating the secret ingredient into all three course, Coach Cat's two signature dishes were his Mussels with a Chorizo-Potato paste that had the judges mouths salivating, and his spin on "Chips and Dip" for desert. His desert was sweet potato french fries that were then covered in chocolate (chilled) and then served with a milkshake dip. Many bystanders were able to sample the desert and nodded in agreement in their approval.

Coach Cat selected junior offensive lineman Sal Perales to be his sous chef for the second year in a row.

"When I look around the team, there are few guys that enjoy food as much as Sal and I do, it was a no brainer for me," said Coach Catanzaro.

Though the football representatives didn't win the Iron Chef 2011, they vowed that if invited back again in 2012, they will be ready to cook up a storm, and try to claim the championship.

Here is a link to the article from the Lake County Sun Times. SUN TIMES IRON CHEF COVERAGE

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Season Schedule Announced!

The Lake Forest College Athletic Department released the schedule for the 2011 Football season. During the 2011 season, the Foresters will again play a balanced schedule of five home contests at Farwell Field, and five games on the road.

Third year head football coach, Jim Catanzaro, had this to say about the schedule. "We are looking forward to playing another tough schedule in 2011. We are filled with great competition both within the Midwest Conference and in our non-conference tilt with Concordia. I am looking forward to measuring our improvement against this schedule."

The Foresters open up the 2011 season on the road against Concordia University on September 3rd at 1pm. Concordia finished the 2010 season with a record of 8-2, including going 6-1 in the Northern Athletics Conference. The Cougars will be looking to replace NAC Offensive Player of the Year Kyree Copeland, as well as well as four other players who were named first team all-conference.

Catanzaro commented,"They graduate some very talented players in Marotta, Copeland, and Englebrecht. I had the privledge of coaching those guys in the All-American Bowl, and am glad that we don't have to defend them next year. Having said that, Coach Pries has a great group of returners, and they will be well coached."

The Foresters begin conference play the next week against Ripon College at home. The September 10th kickoff is scheduled for 1pm.

"To have our conference opener at home is great for us. Last year having back to back road games to start conference play really wore on our guys. The friendly confines of Farwell Field should be a boost," said Catanzaro.

Ripon loses the services of two-time 1st team all-conference fullback TJ Pierce, as well as 1st-team all conference offensive lineman Josh Novak. "Ripon is always a tough game. On offense, they are extremely disciplined. Running the option gives all of their opponents a challenge. Defensively, they are extremely quick to the ball. Our games the last two years against Ripon have been predicated on runs, and who takes care of the ball better." The Redhawks finished 7-3 in 2011.

The Foresters return on the 17th to Farwell for a game against the Blueboys of Illinois College. The last time that the Blueboys came to the Forest, they lost 28-23 to the Foresters. Coach Catanzaro was the defensive coordinator in 2008. The Blueboys graduate key players on both sides of the ball. On the defensive side of the ball, the Blueboys lose Co-Defensive Player of the Year Ricky Padilla (LB). However they return senior DB Erik Fisher who lead the conference in interceptions in 2010. On Offense, IC graduates four year starting quarterback Mitch Niekamp. Niekamp was a three time MWC offensive player of the week, and a multi-year all-conference selection.

"Coach Campbell has done a great job recruiting southern and central Illinois the last few years. He has built up the roster, and his team has shown growth. This is a game that will be to be a part of. Our games have been tremendously competitive, and I am confident that the 2011 edition will be no different," remarked Coach Catanzaro.

The Foresters hit the road for their fourth game of the year against Grinnell College. The game against the Pioneers mark the first time that the Foresters will travel overnight during the 2011 season. The September 24th game will pit the Foresters against 2011 MWC Coach of the Year Jeff Pederesen. The last time that the Foresters traveled to Grinnell they came home with a 35-28 victory. The Foresters have not lost a game in Iowa since 2001. The Pioneers were 6-4 in 2010.

The Pioneers take a hit on the defensive side of the ball, losing three all-conference selections to graduation including linebackers Marquis Bradley and Ryan Fletcher.
"I thought Marquis was the best linebacker that we had played against in my five years at Lake Forest. That kid could do everything on the field, and made us look bad a couple of times," commented Catanzaro.

"I won't feel too bad for them though. They bring back one of the most talented offensive units in the MWC. All of their skill players return, including both quarterbacks and both wide receivers. I won't get much sleep the week that we play them," continued Coach Catanzaro. The two receivers that Catanzaro mentions are Logan Granera and Robert Seer, both of whom were selected all-MWC in 2010. The two receivers combined for 119 catches, 1705 yards, and 21 TDs.

After the trip to Iowa, the Foresters return to Lake Forest to take on Carroll University on October 1st. Since Coach Catanzaro arrived at Lake Forest in 2005, 4 of the 5 games with Carroll have been decided by less than one touchdown. In those four games, the Pioneers and Foresters have each won two of those games.

The 2011 season will be a new beginning for the Pioneers. Carroll named Mark Krzykowski their head coach for the 2011 season. Though new in his role as head coach, Coach K, is not new to the Carroll sideline.

"I have admired Mark's defense from afar since his arrival in 2006. As a former Pioneer as a player, I am sure that he is putting every ounce of his soul into his alma-mater's program trying to take them to the next level," commented Catanzaro.

Carroll finished 7-3 in 2011 losing two of their three games in overtime.

After Carroll, the Foresters begin the second half of their season with an October 8th trip to Beloit College. In 2010, the Foresters and Bucaneers decided to play some bonus football with an overtime game at Farwell Field. Another team that the Foresters have played numerous close games with over the last five years. The Buccaneers and Foresters have played 4 games decided by one score. The Foresters are
+12 in points vs. Beloit since Catanzaro's arrival to Halas Hall.

"Though the Bucs will be without All-American LB Tony Baratti, they return almost their entire offensive unit. They finished third in the conference in points scored, adn that was with their starting tailback missing give games. They will be a great challenge, and a team that we have had a lot of competitive games that come down to the last drive of the game," said Catanzaro.

The Foresters return to Farwell Field on the 15th of October to take on Monmouth College. The Fighting Scots finished 6-4 in 2010, after winning back to back conference championships. Their is a lot of optimism in Monmouth as it was announced that 2009 Melberger Award winner Alex Tanney has declared that he will indeed return for a fifth season after a season ending injury in 2010.

"Obviously, Alex will provide them with a huge boost in 2011. Coach Bell will do a great job reincorporating Alex into their scheme. There are few times that you get to be on the field competing against a player of Alex's ability. I know that our guys will be up for that challenge, and will be excited to face them on our campus this year," remarked Catanzaro.

The Foresters then take back to back road trips during weeks 8 and 9. The Foresters first travel up to Appleton, Wisconsin on October 22nd for a tilt against Lawrence University.

The Foresters have won four in a row against the Vikings, including a 35-14 victory last season in Lake Forest.

"Going to Appleton is always a treat. They have a historic home field in the Banta Bowl, and we have had some exciting games against the Vikings in the past. We definitely want to boost that win streak up to five in 2011."

After the Vikings, the Foresters head out for their second overnight trip of the 2011season against the Prarie Fire of Knox College. The Foresters defeated Knox 35-6 in 2010. The October 29th, game is scheduled for a 1pm kickoff.

"Those two games are going to be challenges for us. The travel down to Galesburg has not been one that we have performed well at in the past. We will need to get a quick start in both games, and establish a tempo that is conducive to our team. I think that with both Lawrence and Knox, we match up in a very competitive game," commented Catanzaro.

The Foresters close out the season at home against the Green Knights of St. Norbert College on November 5th at 1pm. The Foresters look to improve upon last years performance against the Green Knights.

"Last year, we didn't take advantage of opportunities when we had them, and we had a few costly turnovers. We need to convert those opportunities into points. I know that our guys left that game with a growing pit in their stomach, because they knew that they had not take advantage of situations."

"Our schedule is grueling and competitive. Only two of our opponents in 2011 finished below .500 in 2010. Many of them bring back talented groups of players. One of the things that I am most excited about is the fact that so many of our young players received meaningful game time experience in 2010. I am confident that that this will serve us well in 2011, and I am looking forward to our guys getting on the field and showing the great strides of improvement that they have taken. It will be a great year to be a Forester!."


Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Ball Pracitce #3 Recap

The Foresters completed their third practice of the non-traditional season on Sunday afternoon. During a brisk two-hour practice, the Foresters ramped up the intensity with some competitive drills that pitted the offense versus the defense.

Among the drills were a "team favorite" TUGS competition, as well as a series of 25 yard dash competitions.

"I believe the competitions are helping to galvanize both the offense and defense respectively. They have also shown some of the guys who have competed that they need to continue their work in the weight room to increase speed and strength," said offensive line coach Ted Soenksen.

"I felt that our guys have really taken to the competition side of things. Though we don't have pad on, where we can line up and go against each other, it doesn't mean that we can't find creative ways to go against each other. The TUGS are great because they show you, not only "IF" a guy will fight, but also "HOW LONG" will he fight for. We had some dominating performances on Sunday, but we had a couple of really good ones, where the guys had to go at it for over a minute. That is draining physically. When you have a 150lb container filled with water, it is a real guy check to see how long you'll fight, and see if you can force your opponent to drag your limp body as well as the TUG across the line," commented Coach Catanzaro.


Coaches from each side of the ball were asked to comment on some of their positional progress through practices thus far.

"We have a very good understanding of our concepts, run game and pass game. There have been very few mental mistakes or missed assignments. The QBs are showing a clear understanding of their progression and commanding the offense. Greg McDowell looks like a natural at WR and the young slots and TEs are stepping up," commented Coach Kerr.

Coach Soenksen in talking about the offensive line,"I have been very happy with the mental make-up of the offensive line. They pick up on everything we are teaching very quickly. Sal Perales and Tom Mitchell have stood out to me the most to this point. Sal because of his increased athleticism, and Tom with his ability to make all of the calls and to understand he is the quarterback of the OLine and all calls and decisions start and stop with him."

"I have been pleased with the development of the young players. Some of our freshman have really stood out through three practices. You can tell that the teaching they are receiving is a "refresher" and not brand new. The carry over of knowledge is significant as we get deeper into the offense and defense," commented Coach Catanzaro. "A couple of guys who really stood out were Nick Waters and Eddie Dobernig as they have both recorded multiple interceptions, and are showing a better understanding of all of our coverages. I echo what Coach Kerr has said about Greg McDowell. Anytime a guy catches four touchdowns during a 7 on 7 period, you have to take notice. I have been impressed with Mike Peters increased flexibility within our offense. I have seen him display a strong knowledge of the offense, as well as the ability to make some tough receptions as well."

Coach Brandon Parker on the secondary,"The Safeties definitely understand that the race is on! Their is a huge hole to fill there, and there are some interesting candidates for the position. They are pushing each other to improve but they realize it is a competition for that number one spot. Dominic Campagna and Mike Nelson have showed the confidence and experience pushing themselves ahead of the pack but aggressive youngster Alex Gracia has shown improvement as well, has he tries to close that gap." Broadening his comments to the whole secondary, Coach Parker continued,"The Defensive Backs group are young as a whole and it was obvious during last season. With a semester and winter off-season training under there belt have come leaps and bounds. The young DB's have gained strength and a swagger of confidence which allows them to relax and not over think on the field. With this new calm, the guys are able to run around and make plays, and it has only been 3 practices. I am thrilled about their improvement in this short period of time. I believe we are a team that has just become increasingly much more dangerous."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Ball Begins!

Sunday afternoon marked the start of the Forester Football non-traditional season (Spring Ball). The Forester's practice was abbreviated by a lightning storm that passed through the area midway through practice.

Newly promoted offensive coordinator Craig Kerr commented,"There was a lot of energy on the field, and that was great to see. We were able to accomplish a lot, in particular with some tweaks to our run game. Our fundamental period was outstanding, you could tell that our guys had put a lot of work in during the offseason."

New addition to the coaching staff, Ted Soenksen '06, will coach the offensive line this fall. When asked about his initial impression of the Foresters on the field, Coach Soenksen had this to offer: "I am excited to see the camaraderie that the offensive line displayed. It was a great first day energy wise. We were able install some new terminology, and I am looking forward to seeing their growth this spring."

Head Coach Jim Catanzaro commenting on day one activities,"We would have liked to have gotten the full practice in, but we are thrilled to have been on the field and accomplished that which we did. We also had a great film session definsively that allowed our guys to see some consistent mistakes from last year that we hope to address this offseason.:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Forester Spring Football

The Lake Forest College football team will begin their NCAA Non-Traditional Season on Sunday at 1pm. Here is a preview of things that will be seen in the spring season.

"I am excited to get the guys out on the field with a football. I know that they have had a great off-season in the new Wes Dixon Weight Room in the Sports Center. Just looking at our guys, you can tell that there have been some significant transformations in their body composition. I have been impressed with the enthusiasm that our guys have shown towards everything that we have asked them to do this off-season. I know that our spring and fall will benefit from their efforts." said Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro.

On coaching staff changes:

"I think that spring ball will give Coach Kerr a chance to put his stamp on the offense. As an assistant the last two years, he had a tremendous impact on the offense, now that he is taking the reigns, I am confident that he will continue the refining process. Coach Soenksen will have an opportunity to work with the offensive lineman on the field, install his terminology, and take the leadership role with the players. I know that when I came to LFC in 2006, the hardest thing was not having
actually coached our players until August. I think that the addition of this non-traditional season will really help us in that matter. Other than that, our coaching staff will remain together."

On position battles:

"I have been clear to our players, that we are entering this mini-season with 63 players on the roster. That is the most we have ever had involved in an off-season. You have to bring your "A" game every day, and you have to be consistent. With this being a non-live/non-contact period, we won't be able to make any true depth chart adjustments, but we will get a chance to evaluate the mental growth and physical growth of our players."

On concerns:

"We will have to be cautious of the physical conditioning of some of our guys who are multi-sport athletes. A guy who plays in a rugby tournament or a lacrosse tournament on a Saturday, isn't going to have much left in his legs on a Sunday practice. We just have to be cautious and make sure that we don't have an muscle over-use injuries. Other than that, I have no concerns, I just can't wait to get onto the field."

Monday, March 14, 2011


Prior to Spring Break, the Forester Football team participated in their first ever "HEAT OF FUSION EVENT." In a number of competitions between the leadership board teams, the Red Devils, led by Gil Munoz, finished in first place with 318pts. They narrowly defeated the Disciples of Sir Bartemus (led by Kevin Davis) with 311 pts and the Lakers (led by Sal Perales) who had 310 pts. It was a great event, and a tradition that will carry on to future years!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Baldricks 2011

A number of Foresters were participants in the 2011 St. Baldrick's Day event in Kenosha, WI honoring Benny Watters. Here are some pictures!!

Information on St. Baldrick's DaySt. Baldrick's Home Page

Benny Watters Scholarship Fund: Donate to Benny's Scholarship