MIKE NIETO: North football team has work, but has the talent

2011-08-26T22:00:00Z 2013-04-19T22:58:16Z MIKE NIETO: North football team has work, but has the talentBy Mike Nieto Times Columnist nwitimes.com
August 26, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

PALOS HILLS | The T.F. North football team looked pretty good at times in Friday's season-opening 20-7 win over Stagg.

The Meteors made some big plays when they had to and overcame some first-game mistakes. They also did not let Stagg turn North's miscues into scores.

This team is talented, but not deep, so it must stay as healthy as possible. They received a little scare when Devonte Stevenson turned his right ankle on a punt return in the third quarter. He later came back.

At times, North looked like it would put the game away and at times, it stopped itself. Neither team was sharp as Stagg had 65 yards of penalties to North's 45.

But one thing the North players realized is they were not sharp.

"We got to get better," quarterback Calvin Lindsey said after the game. "We know we have to work on some things and I think we will play for it Monday in practice, but we will get better."

This team is aggressive and that is why some of the mistakes were made. North put forth a good effort and these men remember making the playoffs last year and want to do the same this year.

Coach Artie Rogers knows this is a key week. They have an extra day as the Meteors do not play until next Saturday when they face North Lawndale Prep at Lane Stadium in Chicago.

"They saw the biggest improvement is from Week 1 is from Week 2, so we will see," Rogers said. "I was happy with the effort our guys put out tonight. They played hard, made some mistakes, but they played hard."

Another concern will be the extra day and how the Meteors will react.

"Whenever you change the routine, and our guys are used to a routine, it all depends on how you handle it," Rogers said. "We have to get them ready and that is our job as coaches."

North is a fun team to watch because with Lindsey, there is a chance of a big play whenever he touches the ball. There is not a lot of depth, but with wide receiver Dion Beecham and backs Delon Perry, LeByron Collins and Devonte Stevenson, the Meteors could put some points up. They will have to develop that chip on their shoulder. Even with a 20-7 lead late in the game, they could not put in a final score, or "the dagger" as Green Bay Packers play-by-play man Wayne Larivee likes to say.

Defensively, Perry, Shannon Gatewood, Michael Ozoh and DeAndre Fox knows what it takes to get it done on defense.

How this team reacts is a big key. The first four games are on the road before they get to host perennial power Oak Forest. Week 6 it is a trip to Lansing to play District 215 rival T.F. South.

Nothing is going to be given to the Meteors, but they can seize the opportunity like a loose football.


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

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