Football: Chris Meeks happy with Rensselaer’s resiliency
BY JOHN O’MALLEY Post-Tribune correspondent September 12, 2012 11:28PM
Updated: October 15, 2012 9:40AM
Rensselaer coach Chris Meeks is thrilled with the way his team is playing so far this season.
“I’m ecstatic with our team right now,’’ he said. “At the beginning of the year we lost to Kankakee Valley (49-39) and a lot of people said it was a bad loss. Maybe it was because they had no recent tradition. The fact is, it wasn’t a bad loss. It was a tough loss to a very good football team.’’
With two minutes left, Rensselaer (2-2) was poised to score, but threw an interception inside KV’s 20-yard line.
“We were one completion away from making it a 49-46 game with an onside kick coming,’’ Meeks said. “Another thing is, our offense was putting up 39 points against a Brad Stewart-coached defense.’’
Then there’s last week’s game against Tipton (4-0).
The game was scheduled Friday night but a line of bad storms caused a two-hour delay. After two hours of sitting around, the Bombers went home.
The team returned Saturday to play the No. 5 Class 2A team in the state.
According to Meeks, the 40-18 loss wasn’t indicative of the game.
“It was a war until about the last seven minutes,’’ he said. “I’m very happy with the way we’re playing right now. I really am. A lot of young kids are playing and I think they’re playing well.’’
That’s remarkable considering all the injuries the team has suffered.
Starting linebacker and center Adam Langley is out with a broken shoulder. Starting split end and linebacker Austin Fleming suffered a broken arm. Running back Brad Boget has a concussion, while another running back, Andrew Johns, has a broken foot.
“It’s an opportunity for the younger kids to step up and they have,’’ Meeks said.
Under the radar? Andrean coach Phil Mason was more than a little miffed when asked if he felt his 59ers — the defending NCC champions — were flying under the radar.
It seems there’s this perception — true or not — that teams like KV, Hobart and Lowell are getting more attention than the 59ers.
“I guess I’d have to ask what people?’’ Mason said. “If KV’s getting more attention, it’s well-deserved. Those kids are doing a good job and Brad (Stewart) is a great guy. As far as why we’re not being talked about...I think KV is a team that’s having a Cinderella-type season, which is a testament to them. I’m happy for them. Hobart wants a resurgence of its program, and I think that’s just great. Lowell is Lowell. We have a lot of respect for that program.
“It’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t know. I know we’re ranked in the state polls. I don’t know if anyone else is, because I don’t pay attention. We just try to do our thing. We keep working to get better. We don’t make excuses. We just line up and play.’’
The 59ers (3-1, 1-0) play at Hobart (2-2, 1-1) Friday night.
“They’re definitely an improved team,’’ he said. “Historically, it’s always been a tough rivalry. We’re going in there with a game plan. We feel like we have a great chance of beating them. Our kids are ready to go to battle.
“We never take anyone lightly. I guarantee you the teams on our schedule are not forgetting about us, because we’re not forgetting about them.’’