By Mark Maxwell
Often overshadowed by two nearby powerhouse football programs, Glenbard South is emerging as a football force.
For years, Glenbard North and Glenbard West have been known as perennially successful programs. This season, the Raiders (10-0) are building a solid case that they belong right in the mix with the Glenbards and other teams of their caliber. Outscoring opponents 382-145 so far this year, the Raiders have set a school record for wins in a season.
Four years ago, Jeremy Cordell took over as the varsity football coach and began implementing a new vision. Now he is reaping the benefits of his labor as his first crop of freshman are now defending an undefeated record as seniors.
“We're kind of a different entity. We're 1,300 kids,” Cordell said. “The other Glenbards (North and West) in our district are 2,000 plus. We're unique. We cherish that and we enjoy that. It's a privilege for us to be playing the football that we are this year. We hope to continue our success. We're young, but we're hungry.”
Averaging over 38 points of offense, the Raiders are geared up for a second round battle against Lincoln-Way West (9-1). The Warriors defense is allowing just over two touchdowns per game this season, registering at 15 points allowed per game. They will have their hands full against the Raiders and the spread offense.
“In the spread offense, you have so many weapons. It's hard to key in on somebody,” said Zach Smith, senior running back. “With a running back and four receivers, who are you really going to key in on? Everybody in our offense touches the ball every game. If we keep working as hard as we have been working, we can really make a run at this.”
Connor Willis, linebacker and defensive stopper, believes his squad has what it takes to advance to the 5A quarterfinals.
“We've always been a team that's been known around here as just being average and a team that's just going to squeak into the playoffs and be a first or second round exit team. We're trying to take the next step and show everyone that we can be an elite team in this area that we haven't really been in years past. We can do this. We're for real.”