Football team at .500; looking to reach playoffs again

Senior Zach Ford looks for daylight with blockers around him.

Senior Zach Ford looks for daylight with blockers around him.

Mya Seaton, Correspondent

“Boy today is going to be a good day,” St. Joseph football coach Rich Petroski thought as he got ready to go to Saint Joseph high school to lead the football team in practice. He walked in with his son in stride, happy to see the boys that he became so comfortable with.

“Come on, Coach Benji, we got to toughen these boys up,” he said to his son, with a simple “Yeah!” Benjamin screeching back to his father.

Petroski chuckled as he and his son walked into the room to find the boys chatting. He looked at them and noticed that they were comfortable with one another and were not afraid to speak out about how they feel. This was the kind of moment that he cherished, looking at his team, his boys, bond and work together, to do better than they did before. I believe in them, that’s why I have to push them to do better, otherwise we will never understand what it truly means to win. He shook out of his train of thought and shouted over the boys, “Alright now let’s get started. We have to make these two hours count if we want to beat St. Ignatius this weekend.”

They all huddled around him as he reviewed their game plan and practice for the day. They were on the field and did one of their plays, passing fluidly and running to the end zone. Just like the good old days back in high school, Petroski reminisced about playing and having the time of his life. He would have gone to college to play, but he had to stay back and help his mother out. He doesn’t regret a thing. He is living the dream he always wanted and is going to school now.

This year, the Chargers’ football team is trying to build upon the most successful campaign in the history of the school – going 7-3 last year, winning conference, and making the playoffs for the first time in school history. Heading into their game Friday night against Brother Rice, the Chargers were 3-3, winning games over South Beloit (69-0), Catalist/Maria (29-0) and DePaul Prep (24-14).

The Chargers opened the season with a tough loss on the road to Elmwood Park, falling 22-6. After back-to-back victories, the Chargers dropped back-to-back games to Chicago Hope (21-0) and St. Ignatius (30-13). They sit in second place of four teams in the CCL Red at 1-1.

There’s still a shot for the Chargers to make the playoffs this year. Two wins in their final three games (Brother Rice, Leo and Aurora Christian) would get the Chargers to a 5-4 mark on the year and a chance at an at-large bid in the Class 2A playoffs.