So in a way to better understand the use of Deep Dish Football for Illinois recruits and the whole entire IHSA Football scene. Decided to do player profiles of players who you might not know or you might know , but you should respect them for their roles on their respective teams.
Gerald Blackmon Class of 2019 ATH Wheaton Academy 6'2 170
Gerald Blackmon how good can Wheaton Academy be?
Well first things first our team has had an exciting season that has really been an unforgettable journey. We played many tough opponents this season and grew as a team as each game transpired. We are a good football team. There’s no doubt about it. Making the playoffs was a goal for ours all season, and being able to compete against tough opponents , win games and still get the opportunity to play this Friday night is an amazing honor and we are ready to play our hearts out. I’ve loved being apart of this senior lead team, I personally being one of them no each of these guys are hungry and determined to finish our season with a bang. Against many tough opponents this year we saw flashes off a team that when firing on all cylinders on both offense and defense can compete with anyone. We are a “fight-on” cultured program and I believe going into this playoff season our coaches well prepare us, like they have all season, to be a hard to beat team ,that can make a run that’s never been done in Wheaton Academy history.
What has been your favorite memory this season?
There’s so many things that I know I will never forget about this 2018 senior season. One thing that I personally find myself going back to is the Immaculate Conception game week three at home. It was my first start after coming back from an injury before the season where I was told I may miss my entire senior season. Just the night itself, the atmosphere, the taunting by the teams before the game even started, the energy, having one of the loudest crowds We had ever had behind us as the game went on man, just everything about it. Immaculate is extremely good football team and I love playing them. It being my “comeback game” was just an unique feeling. We held on and by halftime it was 28-14 IC. Yet we were in a dog fight and the game was not yet over in my opinion. Right before halftime I returned a kick that went almost 70 yards that would have set up a chance for us to potentially go into to halftime 28-21 but the return was called back. It was an amazing first half and definitely my favorite football memory of the season.
What do you see in this Coal City team thats going to be a challenge?
Coal City is a well coached , fast and physical football team both offensively and defensively. I’m excited to compete against a great team this Friday that is in no way going to just hand any team a win. They get after it! And that type of football is exactly why this sport is so loved. There running attack is strong and is meant to come out and make you play hard nosed north south football all night. They utilize their talent well and look to control the pace of the game. Even with all those things I know what my team is capable off and our coaching staff is preparing us and putting us in the right places to compete this Friday night.
What does Wheaton Academy football mean to you?
Playing Wheaton Academy football has been an honor from day one. Being from Joliet and driving an hour to school each day I do not take for granted what this program has meant to me. Coming in I was an immature, unprepared and confused young man with talent but no sense of direction. Because of the amazing coaching staff that has surrounded me in these four years I have been able to mature and realize so many things about life that I may have not had if I went to any other school and played under any other name . Each one of them care about you as individuals on and off the field. I personally am so thankful for each one of them for dealing with my nonsense for four years haha but also loving me and teaching me that life is more than the game of football. Yet by playing football you choose to learn and grow and be a better man. I’m still not perfect but I thank this school for trusting Coach Thornton to lead this group of young men for the last couple years and more to come. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Wheaton Academy football. It’s meant everything!
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