WHITING | The Whiting Oilers might be the quietest undefeated team in the world.
Usually at the high school level, you read or hear about goofing around, kids worrying about their stats, or looking ahead to a different opponent if the one in front of them is visibly inferior.
That's not the case for the inhabitants of "The Little City by the Lake."
When asked to describe Whiting senior Justin Jendreas, coach Jeff Cain said that he is exactly what the 2012 version of the Oilers represents.
"He's probably said 50 words in his four years here," Whiting's all-time winningest coach said. "JJ is the perfect example of being a quiet leader. He's a kid that looks you in the eye."
Part of being a leader is learning from your mistakes and incorporating those lessons into a winning effort.
After last year's season-ending 39-7 drubbing at the hands of this Friday's opponent West Central, Jendreas said that the team was handcuffed in two important categories.
"We came out flat in the second half and had a lack of discipline, but we're fine there now because of the offseason," Jendreas said. "The coaches have been really dedicated to making us better and we can go to any one of them for anything."
Players and coaches attest that Oiler football team's offseason program made the team better in all facets of the game.
Cain emphasized the importance of the offseason for his team going into the 2012 season.
"It was the defining moment for us because it wasn't just the West Central loss. We knew we had to get better (as a program)," he said. "The commitment we got in the offseason shows now because we've done well with time management and kids look fresh going into the fourth quarter."
A big part of Whiting's success this year has been the emergence of quarterback AJ Veloz and his quiet, but steady leadership.
"(Offensive coordinator) Jim (Verta) has to get a lot of credit for that because of you just look at the numbers, it's night and day from last year," Cain said. "The game is slowing down for him and he did a lot of listening as a sophomore."
The Class A No. 3-ranked Oilers are well aware the program hasn't hoisted a sectional title since 1997 and they're the favorite this year in Sectional 33, but you won't hear them talking about it.
Even though Whiting has beaten every opponent by a minimum of 20 points, Veloz realizes the team will experience tougher games in the playoffs.
"We just have to keep working hard and can't get an ego," he said. "There's gonna be some shootouts or some tight defensive games and we have to be prepared for everything."