Varsity football charges forward

Varsity football team back in action


Photo provided by: Paul Gheremy Prowel

With seasonal sports being aired via LiveStream, Rams football team seizes up their last possession with less than 30 seconds in the game clock to record their first match against the Sequoits, 28-34 in favor of Sequoits. The Rams fought hard throughout the entire game with high hopes and winning intentions. “We dropped the first two games, but we played pretty well. We’re hoping to have a winning season this year as a program and really learn how to be one of the best teams in the conference,” said Overstreet.

The varsity football team clashes against Antioch Community High Sequoits to officially start off their first home game held at Grayslake Central High’s football field on March 19. The football team already accomplished their first three games of the season and is now continuing to ram their way through their journey as they reach their mid-season game.

Head varsity football coach, Michael Maloney, shared his game plan and preparations they made before the seasonal spring sport started. He pointed out that this year is different. “We have a shortened season, so that really limited our preseason prep to two weeks. Normally, we have a full summer as well as a fall camp to get ready for the season, we’ve had to streamline all of our practices to get the maximum amount of development, we had to limit kind of what our playbook normally would be and really emphasize certain techniques that we thought would maximize our students, our student-athletes ability to compete at a high level. We practice five days a week, you know, two hours, at minimum,” said Maloney.

With the season being compressed to a small period of time, Maloney shared their main goal as the program and as the coach. “The goal is to create an environment [where] our kids are maximizing their engagement with the sport, creating memories that will last, especially again those seniors that are developing or establishing a legacy here within our program. We obviously want to win every single football game that we have on the schedule. But in this scenario that we’re in now, I think just a celebration of athletic competition is something that we’re really focused on and not taking anything for granted,” said Maloney.

Junior varsity football quarterback and captain Darryl Overstreet allocated his personal goal for the season. Overstreet well-specifically mentioned his plans as one of the team’s captains. “I want to really focus on playing as a team, being one unit and winning games, and growing as a team together,” said Overstreet. 

In order to keep safe from the current pandemic, all staff, committee, and football players were required to have their masks on even during games and other protocols were observed. “We have masks that are installed on the inside of the helmets that cover their nose and mouth to prevent any sort of droplets [from] spreading. We have individual water bottles, they don’t share like they used to. Just different protocols that are pretty standard for athletics right now and this time,” said Maloney.

Despite the shortened season, Maloney was grateful to have a small season because the “seniors have an opportunity to play the game they’ve invested a lot.” The team will [make] the most out of the given season they have left as they believe they’re “fortunate to have the season… and the experiences” that come along with it. “I was upset because I had seen so many other states playing, but yet I was also happy that I even got the opportunity to play during the pandemic,” said Overstreet.

Maloney conveyed and thoroughly explained the program’s vision of connecting football and life. “We want our kids to be their best potential selves. [We are] committed to developing our student-athletes in mind, body, spirit, academics, all that stuff, and preparing them to become quality citizens… We’re utilizing the game of competitive football to teach accountability… so that when they face adversity and challenges of life–they’ve already experienced how to overcome that and are comfortable being uncomfortable in all the challenges that life provides. The bottom line is we want them to be at their greatest competitive potential,” said Maloney.

Collectively, Overstreet proved that the football program has its capability to improve one’s self. “Our coaches are awesome. They’re very hands-on with each one of us, especially with each position and our coaches are very smart. They’re very detailed with the work that they do with us,” said Overstreet.

In addition, Maloney showed his gratitude for being the head coach of the Rams’ football team. “I just wanted to say how grateful we are to get the opportunity to compete with our young men. Their spirits are high. We’ve taken several steps forward, as an athletic culture, and, and we wear the Rams on our chest, every time we take the field with great pride, and hopefully we’re providing the community with a group of young men that are committed to representing them and that the community is proud of them for the work that they put in so you know we just look forward to continued growth and an opportunity to compete every time we step on the field,” said Maloney.

“Just remember. It’s not just me who can make every single play. It’s a team, team effort for us.”– Darryl Overstreet.