PREP FOOTBALL

Brains or brawn? Mount Carmel's Steve Dumezich plays both well

2013-11-07T18:30:00Z 2013-11-08T02:05:05Z Brains or brawn? Mount Carmel's Steve Dumezich plays both wellMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
November 07, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

You look at Mount Carmel's offense averaging 7.1 yards-per-play and 361.4 per game and think the numbers are quite impressive.

While Matt Domer and Jimmy Mickens have combined for 1,633 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, the guys up front have had a big part in those numbers.

One of the senior linemen is Steve Dumezich, who has his own impressive number — 4.24.

That is his GPA and it is the highest on the team, proving that he loves the challenge in the classroom and the athletic field. He is currently ranked 12th in his senior class of 170.

"You can do both and excel in both," Dumezich said. "If you desire and work hard, you can do it. At Mount Carmel you are challenged to be the best in whatever you do."

The Caravan (9-1) host Catholic League Blue rival St. Rita (9-1) tonight at Gately Stadium in a Class 7A second-round playoff game.

Dumezich does not fit the stereotype of what many think of linemen. It's a quality shared by Mount Carmel football players in general, said Caravan coach Frank Lenti.

"The typical Mount Carmel football player is not your 'dumb jock,'" Lenti said. "We stress to our kids that your education has to last you a lifetime."

Last year's Class 8A state championship team had the top three kids in the senior class in Buster Sheridan, Joe Pavlik and Brian Parker. Other linemen who have excelled in the classroom include Tom Scanlan and Nick Roach. The school's president, Father Tony Mazurkiewicz, O. Carm was a Caravan football captain and played on the 1989 and 1990 state championship teams. The Glenwood native was also a captain at Yale.

"We have guys going to Harvard, Notre Dame, all the top schools in the country," Dumezich said. "You aren't just a jock here."

Harvard, Penn and Cornell — all Ivy League schools — are among the schools Dumezich is looking at.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound senior said Lenti's system stresses the cerebral as well as the physical approach to the game.

"You have to think out there because you have to be able to recognize a defense front and adjust at the spur of the moment," Dumezich said. "With the veer (offense), you have to be able to read your assignment and carry it out."

Lenti said Dumezich goes out and does his job well.

"I can tell him something once and he understands it," Lenti said. "I do not have to repeat things with him."

What impressed Lenti more was his offseason training.

"He worked hard and lost some weight and as a result, he has more flexibility out there," Lenti said. "He really put the time in with the weights and looking to improve his game."

Duemzich credits Caravan strength coach Joe Kubik for working with him.

"I put a lot of time with my conditioning and that included my diet," Dumezich said. "It has paid off because I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was last year. My flexibility, strength and speed have improved."

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