HUTTON: Calumet’s Ivan Zimmer focused on preparation, not pulling upset
By Mike Hutton 613-0141 or firstname.lastname@example.org October 30, 2013 10:56PM
Updated: December 2, 2013 12:27PM
GARY — It’s foolish for Ivan Zimmer to think he could conjure up some win-one-for-Ivan speech when Calumet plays Andrean on Friday in a Class 3A sectional semifinal.
Zimmer has been around way too long, done way too much with way too little, to know that the bone crushing reality of football doesn’t work well for dreamers and one-trick motivational speeches.
His Warriors play Andrean in a sectional game that can only fairly be described as a massive mismatch.
Andrean has Matt DeSomer, the quarterback that Munster coach Leroy Marsh anointed as the guy who should lead his team to a state title.
The 59ers have Tylor Petkovich, a 6-6 tight end/defensive end, one of the nastiest, best players around.
They have a shutdown defense and an explosive offense. They are the favorites to win the Class 3A state title.
Ok, name one Warriors player that you’ve heard of. I’ll help.
Quinton Harris is their quarterback. He’s good. And Noah Fowler rushed for 202 yards last week in their opening-round victory over Lew Wallace.
Zimmer has a starting center, Joe Borst, who is 6-8 senior who just started playing football a few weeks ago. He couldn’t play earlier because he was busy with tennis.
His best lineman, Marshawn Manuel, is only at practice occasionally. His work at Long John Silver’s causes him to miss practice.
Zimmer knows the score. The 59ers send their game tapes over on Huddle, a computer software that downloads game film by pressing a few buttons.
He still uses old-fashioned DVDs.
He had three assistants at practice Tuesday.
Andrean has a deep well of coaches.
Calumet started the year with about 35 players. The Warriors are down to somewhere in the 20s.
Andrean will dress at least 70.
Zimmer gushes about DeSomer, calling him the “best high school quarterback I’ve ever seen.”
At least four of his best players decided not to go out for football. He heard that the father of one of them didn’t like Zimmer, so the player stayed home.
Zimmer believed this could be a really good team. It still is good enough.
“We aren’t a bad team,” he said.
Against Lew Wallace, the Warriors were down five defensive ends. There were injuries, family issues and stories too unbelievable to print that caused the absences.
Zimmer is not complaining.
What Zimmer has that nobody else on the field Friday night can claim is 35 years of perspective.
He has coached that long at Andrean, Lake Central and now Calumet, since 1996.
Zimmer is happy to have his team alive, plotting for another Friday night.
“You’d better get a pulse if you can’t get excited for this,” he said. “We are going to try to be as prepared as we have been for 10 weeks.”
What this means is that Zimmer can’t think at all in terms of winning and losing or grand speeches.
He is interested in practice and preparation and executing and letting the chips land where they may.
He wants to get consumed by the process. Only then, if the focus isn’t really pulling off a miracle upset, do they stand a chance.
And if it doesn’t happen, which is 99.99 percent likely, Zimmer and Calumet will try again next year.
Because it really is about the process.