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Hard work lifts Jeske's game

Erica Benson -
Glenbard South quarterback Alex Jeske drops back to pass during the Raiders' win over Rich East Friday night in Glen Ellyn.
Erica Benson - Glenbard South quarterback Alex Jeske drops back to pass during the Raiders' win over Rich East Friday night in Glen Ellyn.

GLEN ELLYN – With the poise that Alex Jeske shows in the huddle, one might think that the Glenbard South quarterback has been playing that position all his life.

Guess again.

A running back throughout his days on with the Glen Ellyn Golden Eagles youth program, Jeske decided to move under center upon his arrival at high school. Now a senior, he is in his second season as the starting QB and is the leader of a spread offense that has helped the Raiders’ to their first 3-0 start since 1999.

“I just thought quarterback was the best fit for me,” said Jeske, who threw for 185 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s 35-13 win over Rich East, “and it has worked out for me. I’m happy it did.”

Coming off a solid junior campaign, Jeske returned to the gridiron this fall an improved player after putting in a lot of time during the offseason. He has thrown for 669 yards in the team’s three wins and is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes.

“The offseason was big,” the senior said. “I got to improve my footwork, my arm strength and my confidence. Plus, the game starts to slow down when you are a senior because you’ve got more experience.”

Jeske’s work ethic isn’t lost on Glenbard South head coach Jeremy Cordell.

“Alex worked extremely hard in the offseason,” Cordell said. “He definitely put in the time. Everything he needed to do, he did and he got a lot of reps in the offseason.”

In addition to his production on the field, Cordell also points to Jeske’s leadership qualities.

“He brings a calmness to the huddle,” the coach said. “He doesn’t get frazzled easily. And he is extremely smart. The things we do, we wouldn’t be able to do them without Alex.”

As good as he has been, Jeske is quick to deflect credit to his teammates.

“We’ve got a lot of different weapons,” he said. “Zach Smith is doing a great job of running the ball and so is Jacob Straza. In a couple of games, we’ve had seven or eight different guys touch the ball so that shows we have different weapons. And the line has been doing a good job giving me time.”

Next up for the senior QB and his teammates is a Saturday matchup with Rich East. Glenbard South then opens up Metro Suburban Conference action against Elmwood Park on Sept. 27.

“I think this is probably the most physical ball we’ve played in the last four years,” Cordell said.

“The kids are playing with intensity and passion and they are making a concerted effort to try and improve on the details every week. They are really trying to perfect their craft.”

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