Football learns from last year’s fumbles

 Running towards a tackle, junior Charlie Mackimm looks to help his teammate against Niles West on Sept. 28. The Titan’s will hit the turf again tonight at Maine South.

Rachel Nwia

Running towards a tackle, junior Charlie Mackimm looks to help his teammate against Niles West on Sept. 28. The Titan’s will hit the turf again tonight at Maine South.

Sofia Snyder, co-sports editor

Starting the season 3-0, Head Coach David Schoenwetter believed the Titan Football team had a chance of making it to the playoffs. Now, with a 5-1 record, the idea of going to playoffs is a reality.

With the team’s one loss against Barrington, 45-24, safety Andy Sirakides believes that the loss was able to push them forward.

“We played really well [against Barrington]in my opinion, we just gave up to many good plays,” Sirakides said. “There’s a lot of good stuff we can improve on. So, I think we needed to lose that game just to put our minds right, and realize we aren’t this new team that is super good yet, but we have the ability to [become] that super good team that we want to be.”

According to Schoenwetter, the reason the team is able to be so successful this year is due to their commitment in the off-season. Throughout the off-season, Schoenwetter explains that the team is expected to go to a camp almost every day in the summer, where they not only practice skills needed for the field, but also have open discussions about character development and carrying each other.

“The fact that this season has started well has renewed my faith in the process we have, and I think that our coaching staff has a really good idea about how we want to develop young people, what we think the off-season should look like and what the work ethic should be like,” Schoenwetter said. “I think that this group has really bought into that and has given us great effort throughout and it’s showing up in the games.”

According to middle linebacker Connor Nash, going from a 1-8 record (last season) to a 5-1 record has been due to players not being selfish and acting as a team. Agreeing with Nash, Sirakides says that a major theme this season is “play for each other.”  Sirakides believes the idea of playing for each other is not feeling sorry for themselves and playing for the other members of their team.

“That mindset has definitely helped; [we’re feeling like] ‘Oh I’m dragging today because I’m tired and school’s been tough, or something is happening in my life,’” Sirakides said. “But as soon as you get out there it’s, ‘Okay I’m doing this for the other guys, it’s not for me, it doesn’t matter anymore.’ So you push yourself a lot harder than you ever thought you could.”

On Sept. 8, the Titans played a close game against Conant that ended in overtime with a final score of 27-21, according to Schoenwetter. Schoenwetter believes that the reason they went into halftime losing was due to the team making mistakes while Conant continued to make good plays, but correcting those mistakes is what caused them to go into overtime. Schoenwetter explained that by keeping the score close going into the fourth quarter, the team had a strong chance of winning the game.

“We made those adjustments at halftime and we came out and played more mistake-free football,” Schoenwetter said. “It wasn’t perfect but  it never is at [that] point in the season, I felt that when it went into overtime, we had a defensive stop and we drove the ball all the way down the field. We missed a field goal, but we had the momentum.”

Top tier teams such as New Trier and Maine South have been on South’s radar for a long time now, according to Nash. Nash says that those schools not only pose a threat to the team but are their biggest rivals.

“Going into games like New Trier, we feel a lot more confident knowing that we can beat them and hopefully we do beat them because we have the skill level to compete with those teams and we’ve noticed this early on,” Nash said. “Those teams are going to underestimate us because of last year’s record and we know that. So right off the bat we’re just going to go out firing and they’re not going to know what hit them.”

Along with Nash, Schoenwetter believes the Titans’ will be able to compete with these tough teams by stepping up to the challege in front of them. 

Already qualifying for the playoffs, the Titan’s still have to play Maine South tonight, at 7:30 on Maine South’s turf. After, GBS will hit the turf again to play Evanston on Oct. 13 and New Trier on Oct. 20.