Rams Fight to the Playoffs Two Years in a Row

Rocco Bowser, Staff Reporter

This football postseason, the Central football team played their way to the second round for the second year. The team went into the postseason with a 6-3 record, beating Belvidere North in the first round and then being defeated by St. Ignatius in the second round. Head Coach Mike Maloney described the postseason as “Some very highs throughout the first game, and then the second game that we played against St. Ignatius was consistently a struggle, you know I feel like they were better than us at several positions,”  Maloney explained. “Overall in the grand scheme of things, from the 20,000 foot level, our programs are on the rise.” Grayslake Central ended the 2021-2022 football season with a 7-4 record.

Junior outside linebacker and running back Matthew Jens explained that “Playoffs were an expectation after last year… St. Ignatius was pretty tough, they were a big private school so they had some pretty big DI athletes. But we played pretty good and we started to come together mid season and became a family on the field so it was much better.” The football team had “struggled with [chemistry] from the summertime on,” Maloney explained, but the team’s chemistry got “Progressively better, [and] we made strides throughout the season.”

With the Rams making it to the postseason two years in a row now, the team is working to position itself as a regular contender for state, and a competitive playoff team. As Maloney explained, “Consistently landing itself in the postseason, we’re in the mix and in the conversation to be conference champs. We just have to take that next step of growth, but the last two years have certainly solidified our place in that above average to good programs in the area.”

This growth in the football team’s culture is exciting for Grayslake Central, as best seen when comparing records from years past to the present day. From 1-8 in 2016, to 2-7 in 2018, to an odd 2-2 in 2020, to a towering 7-4 record in 2022. There are only expectations for growth in the Grayslake Central football program as we approach the 2023 season.