Chesterton Tribune

CHS Football kicks off Friday night in South Bend

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By TR HARLAN

Bring your roster with you Friday night.

The Chesterton football team will kickoff the 2011 campaign in South Bend against perennial Class 3A power South Bend St. Joseph’s at South Bend Clay behind Clay Middle School at 6 p.m. (Chesterton time)

“It’s hard to believe that it’s game time already,” Chesterton head coach John Snyder said. “We’ve practiced more than enough, it’s time to go play a game.”

The Trojans will put on the field a talented group of juniors who have enjoyed several years of success, but now they play under the bright lights for the first time.

“I might be as nervous as the kids,” Snyder said. “With returning kids, you usually know what to expect. With young kids and the nerves that I see, I don’t know what to expect.

“I hope they get out there and things fall into place, that we settle down and play well.”

Snyder knows what he wants to see Friday night though.

“I know we’ll be a little wide-eyed,” Snyder said. “I’d like to go out and play mistake-free. That never happens in the first game. I want us to be very physical and aggressive. I know we’ll have to tackle better than we have been though.”

Following last Friday’s scrimmage at Griffith, the Trojans appear to be a handful on offense for opposing defenses led by first-year quarterback Chris Katsafaros.

“Chris has a ton of talent physically,“ Snyder said. “I’ve got to put him in positions to make plays because that’s what he’s best at. He throws the ball well enough to the point where we can do that a little more depending on game situations.”

The Trojans other offensive strength comes in speed.

“A lot of our offensive focus is getting our speed kids outside in space,” Snyder said. “Joe Troop can make people miss and outrun about anybody on the field every Friday night. Adam Lara is very underrated and has good quickness. We want to get them the ball.”

On defense, the Trojans will face a South Bend St. Joe team that will cause them problems.

“They are very fundamentally sound, so we’ll have to be in the right place,” Snyder said. “They’ll spread us out and throw the ball some, but they want to pound the ball inside. They’ve got a new quarterback. Their running back runs really hard too.

“I’m not so much worried about who we are playing. I know, and the kids know, about the success they’ve had the last few years. They’ll be excited because they’re playing a 5A school and it kicks off their season really well.”

Chesterton will be without some key players on defense due to injury, so it will be a new-look group.

“Friday night, we’ll only have two guys that are returning starters,” Snyder said. “That is a concern for us. It’s a situation where the kids just have to decide that if they make mistakes to make them at 100 miles per hour. I don’t want to see mistakes because we were standing around not sure what to do.

“The best thing we can do to help the defense is control the ball and clock and not put them in short-field situations.”

The Trojans advantage, virtually every Friday night, will come in the kicking game.

“Kyle (Schmidt) has been outstanding in the preseason,” Snyder said. “You know you can pin them deep both with kickoffs and punts. Every time you cross midfield, you know you have a chance to get three points.

“The thing that really excites me is our return game. With guys like Troop, Lara and a couple of other kids we have, I think we can set our selves up pretty good to take advantage of some things.”

In all, the Trojans will just try to do what they are used to -- winning.

“Anytime you’ve had a lot of success, it helps because you have to have a burning desire to win,” Snyder said. “The more you win, the more you expect to win. They have high expectations for themselves.”

 

 

Posted 8/18/2011