Sycamore football advances in playoffs

By Lark Lewis

One high school’s playoff run is over while another’s is just beginning.

Sycamore High School has gone 10-0 and will play Nazareth Academy Saturday in a round two playoff game. DeKalb High School had a 5-5 season and went into the first round of playoffs against Batavia High School, where the Barbs’ season ended.

“The new coaching staff changed the expectations, work ethic, and the pace of practices was much different,” said Bryon Houy, director of Athletics and Activities for DeKalb High School. “The kids really bought into the coaches’ philosophy.”

While coaches may have a big part in the team’s success, it’s the fans that keep the team running during games, Houy said.

“Community support is huge. Kids play harder when they see people in the stands,” Houy said.

The new football coaches are hoping that because they set the bar high for the players this year, DeKalb football will continue to thrive.

“Basically this should be a stepping stone, so this [year] set a standard of what we want from this point on,” said Matt Weckler, DeKalb High School head football coach. “As long as we put our time and effort in, this should be our standard.”

Coaches and community support were part of a victorious recipe for DeKalb football this year.

“The dedication and the discipline of our players and them really wanting to be successful is what contributed to our success,” Weckler said. “They put in time during the off season and that really paid off for them.”

Sycamore’s success

Sycamore High School is still enjoying its lengthened season in the playoffs and also thanks the community.

“Sycamore is an extremely supportive community. Our kids get a lot of support, and they appreciate the support they get from the community,” said Chauncey Carrick, Sycamore High School assistant principal for Athletics and Activities.

Carrick agrees with Houy in saying the community is a definitive key to the football team’s success.

“I think [the community] has had a very positive impact on our team,” Carrick said. “You get community members who maybe aren’t even affiliated with the school and alumni; it’s just a great support system.”

Both Sycamore and DeKalb High School had a dose of community support, player dedication and student fans to propel their teams toward success.

“Our kids have worked extremely hard in the off season and in season; we do have a great coaching staff that has molded them into good players, and then you throw in a great support system of parents, friends, neighbors and faculty,” Carrick said. “Hard work, dedication and support equals a good formula for success.”