PREP FOOTBALL

Sam Connolly always in the right spot for Mount Carmel

2013-11-14T18:00:00Z 2013-11-14T23:58:17Z Sam Connolly always in the right spot for Mount CarmelMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
November 14, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Sam Connolly's impact is felt beyond opposing ball carriers.

His leadership at Mount Carmel carries to both sides of the ball said Caravan coach Frank Lenti.

"He is another (defensive coordinator) Coach Dave (Lenti) on the field," coach Lenti said. "That is how good of a football player and knowledgeable of a football player Sam is."

Connolly credits the coaches for making him a good player, working as both a linebacker and tight end.

"Coach Dave really has us prepared against the other team's offense," Connolly said. "That is one of the reasons we have had success. All of our coaches really do a great job of getting us ready for the game. we know when we go out there, we are prepared.

"Coach Joe Kubik, our strength coach, does a great job in the off season getting us conditioned."

The Caravan (10-1) travel to Downers Grove North (7-4) for a Class 7A quarterfinal game on Saturday. Connolly expects another tough game.

"We will have to play well defensively because as you know, defense wins championships," Connolly said. "We had a few lapses (in a 20-15 win over St. Rita), but we pride ourselves on defense. Mount Carmel always has."

He also considers it an honor to play linebacker in a program that has produced such greats as Tony Furjanic, Jerry Schumacher, Jeremy Nau and Steven Filer to name a few.

"You look at those names and you consider yourself fortunate to play that position," Connolly said. "We have had great players here at every position."

Connolly has a team-leading 47 tackles, including 11 for loss (for a minus -65 yards). He also has two interceptions.

On offense, he can use his blocking and receiving skills. he loves playing both ways.

"I get to work with the offensive line and Coach Frank a lot, so that is cool," Connolly said. "We work together as a team, so it doesn't matter if I block on a run for Matt (Domer) or Jimmy (Mickens) or Marko Boricich throws me a pass."

The buying into Lenti's "It's a 'we' thing and not a 'me' thing" is a big reason for the Caravan's success.

"We knew we lost some great leaders last year in Jason Gasser, Donny (Butkus), Draco (Smith) and as seniors, our job was to provide that leadership," Connolly said. "Our job was to work with the juniors, the younger guys and make sure they came together."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which local prep soccer semistate qualifier will most likely reach state?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News