Football: Hanover JV keeps rolling in first season
Star staff report October 15, 2013 11:50AM
Updated: October 15, 2013 12:41PM
WHITING — Watching Hanover’s junior varsity make the school football ressurection this fall, you walk awy with the same feeling.
What excatly is it we’re seeing?
Hanover wins most games decisiovely. The latest was 43-8 last Saturday up in Whiting’s pretty little stadium by Lake Michigan, their seventh victory against no losses.
But the Whiting junior varsity had just 13 players after the varsity had suffered some injuries in an upset loss to River Forest the night before. Anyone who plays the varsity game, cant play in the JV game the next day. Once you saw the total of players in uniform for the Oilers, you knew pretty much this would be another blowout win.
So, after Hanover’s fifth five-TD win of the season, the questions nag at you.
How good are they, really? What’s going to happen when Hanover begins play in the Greater South Shore Conference (GSSC) next August. Real varsity games on Friday nights — can they compete?
“I’d like to say we’ll do well,” said Hanover coach Robert Harrison, “because I know how hard the boys have worked. We’ve been scouting the teams we’ll play. Whiting and Wheeler are always quality programs. River Forest is obviously getting better. Boone Grove (which will join the GSSC for football) ... I think the whole league is on the rise.”
Hanover scored the first six times it had the ball against the outmanned Oilers. Freshman Dustin Lindley (5-6, 140) scored on a 4-yard run to open the game. Lindley gained 61 yards on eight carries and caught two passes for 27 yards. He’s probably not 140 pounds but Lindley, who has played in every game this season, is a natural runner who should be effective at the varsity level as he gets larger.
“We had to add a little (height and weight) to the roster,” smiled Harrison. “But I coached him in basketball. He’s not big, but he isn’t afraid to play. He can take a hit and bounce right back. And he is used to being on teams. He understands what a team is about. I wish I had a lot more just like him.”
Whiting freshman Migeul Rivera (5-8, 135) broke loose on a 70-yard run in the final minute of the thrid quarter, but only after six Wildcats had scored, including lineman Brendan Hughes, who lined up as a fullback and scored Hanover’s second TD.
Junior kicker Luke Bathurst booted Hanover’s first field goal of the season late in the fourth quarter.
“We want to finish perfect,” said Harrison of the final game against Rensselaer this coming Saturday. “That may not be easy. That’s a really good program.
“We’ve had some injuries so we’re down a few guys from what we started the season with. But that’s all part of it. Every team is going through that right now and the boys who are behind them just have to fill in.”
NOTES: Whiting’s stadium, where Hanover Central will be playing regularly now in the GSSC, now has artificial turf and it upgrades the field considerably. In Saturday’s sunshine and 70-degree temperatures, the surface might have been the best (HC also played at Crown Point) the Wildcats played on this season.
Ray Gallivan Stadium, the name of Whiting 2,000-seat home field, is two or three blocks from Lake Michigan and the weather can roll in on Friday nights. But the playing surface, which was natural grass since the studium was built in the 1990s, will always now be in top condition.
In the GSSC, Whiting and Wheeler have the top quality home stadiums, but Whiting is the only league field with artificial turf.
Hanover junior DaQuan McDonald is out for the season after a foot injury. McDonald had began the season as a linebacker bit had excelled at running back.