It's too early to tout Lake Forest as a serious contender for a state football championship. After all, the Scouts haven't fielded a winning team since 1998 and have qualified for the state playoff only twice since 1996. But they were 5-5 last season and this year's squad has what it takes to make opponents take them very seriously.
Coach Chuck Spagnoli's team was very impressive in last Saturday's 14-6 victory over Deerfield. In winning the last game to be played at 72-year-old Lindenmeyer Field, the Scouts showcased a balanced offense, a swarming defense and several difference-makers.
It was enough to make old-timers recall the salad days of former coaches Edgar Lindenmeyer, Ike Schillereff, George Barry and Tommy Myers. Lindenmeyer's teams were 96-27-10 from 1935 to 1951. They lost only four games in a six-year span. Schillereff's teams were 71-25-3 in 12 years, including four 8-0 seasons in a row and only two losses in a six-year span.
Barry produced a 10-2 squad in 1978 that reached the third round of the state playoff before losing to perennial power Joliet Catholic. Myers took teams to the third round on four occasions, the last in 1993. His 1987 team went 11-1.
Those were the good ole days. Spagnoli and his players think the good times are back. Only time will tell.
Against Deerfield, quarterback Jim Borrasso completed 14 of 27 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, a 44-yarder to Kevin Finney and a 28-yarder to Robert Jackson. Running back Greg Friedman rushed 31 times for 115 yards. Finney, a 6-6 senior who is attracting attention from major colleges, caught nine passes for 108 yards.
The defense, which never permitted Deerfield to sustain a scoring drive (the Warriors' touchdown came after a fumble recovery at Lake Forest's 15), was led by linemen Addison Sadewater and Scott Covert. Sadewater had four sacks and blocked a punt. Covert, a junior, is the son of former Chicago Bears star Jimbo Covert.
"I don't know the last time Lake Forest was 2-0," Sadewater said. "But we were 5-5 last year and we knew we'd have a good team this season. There is a great change in attitude around the school and in the community. The fans are so excited. We know we have a great team. We think we can accomplish a lot this season."