ST. CHARLES – Rob Pomazak intends to do big things with the St. Charles North football program, but there’s no beating what he already helped accomplish this summer.
On July 31, Pomazak and his wife, Rebecca, welcomed their first children – twin girls Morgan and Isla. Pomazak called the girls the “best things I’ve ever done.”
His answer won’t change no matter how well the North Stars fare this season, but that doesn’t mean being a new dad, twice over, has diminished the 34-year-old’s enthusiasm for his new gig.
“Fortunately, I have a good support system with my wife and my family and her family,” Pomazak said Wednesday afternoon on the North Stars’ first day of official, preseason practice. “They know how important this is at this stage of my career, and they’ve given me the opportunity to take care of the kids but also make sure I have time to tend to my duties here.
“But it is a balancing act, I think. It’s long hours and it’s long days and I don’t get much sleep, but I tell people this is exactly where I wanted to be right now. It couldn’t get any better.”
Pomazak has yet to win a game, so naturally he still has a lot to prove. Initial reviews, though, are overwhelmingly encouraging from those in and around North’s program.
North senior linebacker Reece Conroyd said Pomazak has infused the program with energy that resulted in amped-up offseason commitment. Conroyd said Pomazak has “changed us,” making it easy for the North Stars to embrace persnickety new rules such as players wearing only school colors in the weightroom.
“I think it was right off the bat because he made such a good first impression, the day that we met him,” Conroyd said. “He was dressed well and he spoke well and he came here with a purpose. I think a lot of guys really bought into that.”
Pomazak becomes only the second coach in program history, replacing the retired Mark Gould. Gould guided the North Stars to eight straight playoff berths from 2002 to 09 before three subpar seasons closed out his tenure.
Pomazak is determined to stop the program’s slide ASAP.
“I want [players] to feel the pride that St. Charles North used to have,” Pomazak said. “When you don’t make the playoffs, sometimes that takes it away a little bit. Even though they work as hard as anybody did, people still want to recognize the playoff teams and the winning teams. They deserve to have that, and that’s really what kind of motivates me.”
Pomazak’s crosstown colleague, St. Charles East’s Mike Fields, is among those who think Pomazak has the North Stars positioned to challenge Upstate Eight Conference River favorites Batavia this fall.
“I had an opportunity to meet him throughout the summer – real nice, class guy,” Fields said. “He’s got those kids working hard. They’ve got two Division I linemen [offensive tackle Chase Gianacakos and tight end Garrett Johnson], so you know they’re going to have some big size up front. I saw them at a couple things throughout the summer and they’ve got some big boys, so it’s going to be real interesting to see how they jell and come together.”
The North Stars hope the answer is quickly, especially with a bragging-rights game to open up Aug. 30 at Elk Grove, the school at which Pomazak and some of his assistants previously coached.
Beating his former employer would be a memorable way to start out, but he’d have to save his celebratory smooches for Morgan and Isla until returning home. Pomazak doesn’t expect the twins to inflate North’s attendance count this season.
“By the time they’re old enough, it’ll be too cold, so I don’t think this year they’re going to come out, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot of little North Star baby gear,” Pomazak said.
The wins are piling up in Pomazak’s personal life. The ones he earns on Friday nights will feel like a bonus.
• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.