Game Preview: Lake Forest Scouts (0-0) vs Antioch Sequoits (0-0)

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Bobby Winebrenner

After a long off season dominated by lifting programs and conditioning workouts which then transitioned into extensive practices in the grueling summer heat, the Lake Forest football team has finally reached the long-anticipated gameday. Tonight at Antioch High School at 7:15 the lights will shine bright on the opening kickoff for both sides. The short school week concludes with a prime-time matchup, which causes excitement for students who may not have had much after heading back to school this week. Let’s get into the preview.

About the Sequoits: Antioch is coming off an impressive undefeated regular season (9-0) before a first round exit to Marian Central Catholic in the Class 5A playoffs.Their undefeated season in the Northern Lake County Conference led to an even better offseason for Coach Brian Glashagel, who brought in the former Lake Zurich head coach David Proffitt as defensive coordinator. Proffitt is surely familiar with the Scouts as he coached the Bears since 2012 where he led many successful North Suburban Conference teams. The Sequoits also brought in two highly touted sophomores, Athan and Dino Kaliakmanis, who both played for Carmel’s varsity team last fall. Athan will be Antioch’s starting quarterback and he holds Division 1 offers from a slew of programs including Iowa and Syracuse. The incoming QB does not mean Antioch will abandon its triple option, however. Coach Glashagel stated in a Daily Herald season preview that the triple option is the “bread and butter of our run game. Yet we do what everyone else does too,” meaning the Sequoits will run some triple option but also showcase their new twin brother-quarterback wide receiver duo that they’ve obtained. Three year varsity starter Chase Becker is back at defensive end proving the Sequoits aren’t short of talent on the other side of the ball.

About the Scouts: Lake Forest finished their 2017 season with a 6-5 record and a 2nd round exit in the class 6A playoffs after bowing out to Hoffman Estates. The Scouts return some of the most talent we’ve seen in recent years but lack serious depth at a few positions. They’re headlined on offense by Colgate bound wide receiver Ryan Cekay and a Penn commit in left tackle Chase Bahr. With the skilled junior Charlie Aberle playing right tackle after spending his sophomore campaign playing both sides of the ball, the ends of the offensive line will give talented senior running back Jacob Thomas bodies to run behind. James Swartout will be given the keys to the Lake Forest offense; he’ll start his first varsity game and hold the title as captain to go along with it. On defense, Rylie Mills has blown up this offseason and now holds offers from virtually every top program imaginable including Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson. Mills will be a huge force for the Scouts D this season and will likely draw tons of attention from opposing coaches. Will Freeman and Eddie Scheidler return to lead the defensive backs and Head Coach Chuck Spagnoli has moved from coaching the linebackers to the DB’s; so look for an improved unit at that position in 2018.

Key Storylines:

  • How will Swartout fare while starting for the first time in the season opener?
    • Cekay and Breck Nowik offer Swartout skilled targets to get the football to, but the ball’s in Swartout’s court.
  • Mills vs Kaliakmanis
    • The defensive linemen has been eager to showcase his stellar off-season growth, but Kaliakmanis is an outstanding prospect in his own right.
  • Triple Option
    • The Scouts haven’t faced much triple option–most notably Prairie Ridge from a few years back–so it will be interesting to see how Coach Spagnoli’s bunch handles it this time.

Tonight’s opening kickoff will take place at Antioch High School at 7:15. No bags are allowed in the stadium by Lake Forest students and fans may not be readmitted. WRLR 98.3 FM will also broadcast the game live on the radio beginning at 7:15PM.

Prediction: Antioch seems to be one of the more talented non-conference opponents Lake Forest has seen in recent memory, but they still compete in a weak conference and remind me a bit too much of a Riverside Brookfield-esque team which the Scouts have dominated recently. The first game, triple option, and Coach Proffitt’s familiarity all pose potential challenges for the Scouts and will keep the game close early, but ultimately Lake Forest’s weapons and physicality will lead to a 1-0 record.

Lake Forest 24 – Antioch 14