MIKE NIETO: Long time coming for T.F. North on a long night

2013-09-06T22:45:00Z 2014-05-10T16:32:15Z MIKE NIETO: Long time coming for T.F. North on a long nightMike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
September 06, 2013 10:45 pm  • 

CALUMET CITY | You would think Calumet City is still a 24-hour town if you were at Friday's Thornridge at T.F. North football game.

The three-plus-hour affair seemed like it would go into the wee hours of the morning before the Meteors snapped an eight-game losing streak Friday with a 34-22 win over the Falcons.

For Thornridge, it has now lost 21 in a row, with its last win coming in the 2010 regular-season finale against Thornton.

The Thornridge seniors were freshmen that year.

What do you take from a game like this?

Well, for one, both teams need a lot of improvement. There were penalties, missed chances and miscommunication on both sides. It seemed when one team opened the door for the other, the other team turned around and held the door open for their opponent.

Both head coaches, Artie Rogers of T.F. North and Ty Richardson of Thornridge, said their respective teams need to finish games. North won because it made some big plays when it needed to and Thornridge failed on several third-down situations.

If you are T.F. North, you do not rest on this game. The players talked about returning to the playoffs after making it in 2011 then going 1-8 last year. The Meteors play at Hillcrest next week -- a team that beat them last year to end its own two-season-long losing streak. The Meteors may have gained some much-needed confidence with the win and may feel good to get that losing streak off their backs. They played decent in a Week 1 loss at Bradley-Bourbonnais, but couldn't finish.

On a humid night, both teams looked sluggish at times and with several kids going both ways, that is expected. Trainers Susie Lessner and Beth Braveire spent a lot of time stretching calves and making sure players were hydrated.

If you are Thornridge, this is discouraging as it has some playmakers, but it also hurt itself with 75 yards in penalties and failure to convert on several third-down situations. The Falcons cannot dwell on this loss, but must learn and correct their mistakes. With a tough SouthWest Suburban Red schedule coming up, they will have to rise to the challenge.

The key is to not get down on themselves and try to prove they are a good football team. If they let this tough loss bother them, it can be another long season.

I think both teams can improve and have the talent to get it done. The main thing is they have to believe in themselves.


This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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