Losing four straight games is not an ideal start to a season for a team testing out a new offense, but, according to Head Coach David Schoenwetter, this year’s varsity football team still has their eyes on the prize. With a conference schedule full of winnable games kicked off by a 16-7 win against New Trier, the Titans believe they can end this season on a high note, Schoenwetter said.
Jacob Wolf, a quarterback and defensive back, believes that the Titans have not yet performed to the standard they have set for themselves. However, Wolf believes that the team just has to keep pushing forward.
“We just have to keep going because we know we haven’t reached our full potential yet,” Wolf said.
Despite struggles in the early part of the season, Schoenwetter believes there are positives to take away from their performances. This year South has more good players throughout their lineup than in year’s past, according to Schoenwetter.
“I think that we have more depth than we’ve had in the past,” Schoenwetter said. “Teams tend to plateau if they don’t have that.”
The Titans lost against Barrington 41-15 in a game that saw South go down 34-0 at halftime. Despite this, Chris Demirlika, a wide receiver and defensive back, is still confident that the team can beat any of their opponents.
“If you come in confident that you’re going to win … you have a chance,” Demirlika said. “No team is really unbeatable.”
Prior to this season’s start, the team changed their offensive system to incorporate more passes. One of the big characteristics of the new system involves the quarterback’s ability to run the ball, according to Schoenwetter.
“You always want to try to play to what your team looks like,” Schoenwetter said. “I felt like this year we could spread it out a little bit more.”
More offensive formations featuring three wide receivers is one of the elements of the new offense, according to Schoenwetter. Wolf believes the new offense will play to their advantage because conference foes have not yet played against the new-look system.
“I think having that combination of pounding the ball and throwing will throw our opponents off,” Wolf said.
Though the team suffered a winless start, key playmakers like defensive tackle John Christ believe that the Titans have a shot at a conference title this season thanks to a weaker conference than usual and a GBS team that has not yet reached their full potential.
“Our conference is weaker than it has been in the last ten years and we are ready to take a step up,” Christ said.
With a conference schedule highlighted by a trip to Glenbrook North on Oct. 4, the team is extra motivated to come out on top, according to Christ. Demirlika echoes these sentiments, believing that if they can keep their minds on the tasks at hand, they will be successful.
“[We] try to be 1-0 every week,” Demirlika said. “[We] just look in the present and just try to win what you can.”
One of the team’s greatest strengths is its collaboration, according to Christ, who says their morale has remained high despite losses at home to Rolling Meadows and Barrington and on the road to Maine West and Conant.
“We try to stay as a tight group of people and try not to let the outside noise get to us,” Christ said. “We have to [believe] in ourselves.”
Despite four losses to begin the season, Schoenwetter said the team’s mistakes are fixable if they continue working. With a visit to GBN Oct. 4 and the chance to welcome Niles West on Oct. 11 for South’s homecoming, Schoenwetter is still confident the team will taste success this season.
“If we can correct what we’ve done wrong then there’s no reason we can’t get the ball rolling and have a shot to win out this season,” Schoenwetter said.