St. Charles North linebacker Reece Conroyd is considered the heart and soul of his team's defense, so it comes as little surprise that Friday's 28-21 overtime loss at St. Charles East caused the senior some serious heartache.
"I tell you what, you still feel it when you come into school [Monday] morning," Conroyd said. "It still hurts. It kills the weekend. Usually I try to have fun on the weekend but it was just one of those weekends you don't want to do anything, you don't want to go out, you don't want to see your friends. …. You don't want to see the world. You're so bummed."
Conroyd said he felt especially upset because he had a chance to take down East's Brannon Barry on Barry's decisive touchdown run in OT. Conroyd said his footwork on the play wasn't up to his usual standards.
"I didn't buzz my feet," said Conroyd, using the program's terminology for properly shuffling feet in preparation to make a tackle. "I just kind of lunged at him. Against a player of that caliber – you have to give some props to him as well. He's a great player. He made a play. I forgot my fundamentals at a crucial moment, and that's when it counts."
Both of the losses for North (1-2) have come in overtime. The North Stars realize how close they are to being 2-1 or 3-0 but Conroyd said the team is searching for a greater sense of purpose that will put it over the top in tight games.
"We feel we're not a family yet," Conroyd said. "We feel we're close but we're not there yet. [The coaches] have been pushing us to get on each other in practice and don't have the coaches have to do everything."
The North Stars' prospects for a morale boost this week are strong, with 0-3 Elgin visiting North on Friday. It's also North's homecoming week.
East is 5-0 against North in Saints coach Mike Fields' five years guiding the Saints.
Suit him up
Former Geneva and NIU linebacker Pat Schiller, only a few weeks removed from playing in NFL exhibition games with the Atlanta Falcons, was on the Vikings' sidelines for Friday's home game against Batavia.
Schiller was released by the Falcons after their preseason finale last month. He offered advice to Vikings players throughout the game.
"Any time the old-timers come back … it's all good," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "Absolutely. You always like to see those guys."
Several area teams have survived the first three weeks of the season unbeaten.
St. Charles East, Kaneland, Marmion, St. Francis and Aurora Christian all head into this week's games with 3-0 records.
Batavia and Aurora Central Catholic, meanwhile, stand at 2-1, with ACC absorbing its first loss Saturday at IC Catholic Prep, 21-14.
IN THE GROOVE
Micah Coffey, Batavia, Sr., QB
What he did: Coffey scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half of Friday's 49-20 win against Geneva and also threw for a TD while completing 10 of 16 passes for 165 yards with one interception. He celebrated by taking a baseball visit to the University of Minnesota over the weekend.
St. Francis defense
What it did: The Spartans' defense generated some confidence leading up to this week's showdown with Montini, earning their first shutout of the season Friday in a 49-0 win against Chicago Christian.
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LAST WEEK
Aurora Christian still is taking no mercy when it has a chance to dominate.
For the third straight week, the Eagles walloped an overmatched foe, winning Saturday at Walther Lutheran, 59-7. The Eagles have outscored their three opponents so far this year, 181-7.
"We've always played at a fast pace no matter who we're playing," Eagles coach Don Beebe said.
WHAT WE'LL LEARN IN THE WEEK AHEAD
The outlook for Kaneland standout running back Jesse Balluff.
The senior suffered a knee injury early in Friday's win at Sterling, and the Knights' leading rusher is scheduled to undergo an MRI today, according to Kaneland coach Tom Fedderly.
Needless to say, losing Balluff for any prolonged period would be a major setback for the 3-0 Knights.
COACH SLY SAYS
Coach Sly knows scheduling is an inexact science, and there are a ton of factors that play into it, but there's something awry when a team has outscored opponents 181-7 through three weeks, as is the case with Aurora Christian.
The two-time defending 3A state champs started out with non-conference opponents DuSable (which didn't even finish the game), Chicago Urban Prep and SCC crossover foe Walther Lutheran. Things probably won't get that much tougher this week with another SCC crossover against Wheaton Academy, which is fresh off a 56-0 loss to Montini.
There will be much tougher games down the line, and take nothing away from the Eagles' efforts so far, but it might be time to re-evaluate that non-conference schedule.