Learning experience for Mustangs
MUNDELEIN Friday Aug 31 2012 Prairie Ridge's Sean Folliard (16) brings down Mundelein's Sawyer Schexnider (6) | Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
MUNDELEIN — First-year Mundelein football coach George Kaider tracked down Prairie Ridge coach Chris Schremp after their postgame handshake on Friday night.
Kaider wasn’t mad at Schremp after Prairie Ridge’s 65-7 victory. Instead, he asked Schremp to address his team.
Schremp — the coach of the defending Class 6A state champions — proceeded to talk to the Mustangs about the journey that Prairie Ridge made from a new program to a state power.
“I wanted the kids to recognize that this was just another group of football coaches with a group of kids from a high school about the same size as ours,” Kaider said. “I wanted them to see that we’re closer to them than we realize. I wanted us to have some closure on the night, and (Schremp) shared that winning is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight.”
Kaider also made a statement before the half when he called a timeout and had the team kneel in front of the student section. Kaider was hired last year after the Mustangs’ winless season.
“I told them that no one is to blame for this; no one is at fault,” Kaider said. “You don’t just show up and win; this is part of the process. You have to go through the fire and come out on the other side.”
Mundelein’s lone score of the game came in the fourth quarter on Emanuel Jones’ 8-yard touchdown run. To set up the touchdown, freshman quarterback Gavin Graves connected with Chance Lindsey for a 33-yard reception.
“Physically, we looked like a freshman team compared to them and that won’t happen as the years progress here,” Kaider said. “Next year we’ll be stronger and more physical and even more so the next year. By the time our freshmen are seniors, they’ll have had four years of weight training and working in our system and we’ll put a team out there that can compete with Prairie Ridge.”
Unlike some other sports where turnarounds can happen quickly, transforming a football program takes years of work. Kaider said the sacrifice will be great but so will the reward.
“To win in football you need every kid on the team to be committed year-round to achieve a common goal,” Kaider said. “The guys have bought into everything we are trying to do as a football program and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. The kids are resilient and they’ll come back ready to player another really good team in Lake Zurich and we’ll try to be better than we were against Prairie Ridge.
The Mustangs visit Lake Zurich High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday.