WESTMONT – Injuries have taken a toll on the Westmont football team.
On Friday, Westmont was without starting quarterback Tim Doll as the senior suffered a concussion during a 28-0 loss to Lisle in Week 7. With sophomore Jake Welch under center, Westmont was unable to make enough plays on offense in a 49-6 loss to Coal City in an Interstate Eight Conference crossover game.
The Sentinels’ have lost multiple playmakers to injury during the last three weeks, and while a few have been able to suit up and see limited action, the team is heavily undermanned, according to head coach Otto Zeman. In addition to Doll, wide receiver Greg Pietrzak and two-way starter Danny LoGiurato were limited due to nagging injuries.
“Our team showed a lot of character, but they are banged up,” Zeman said. “The loss to Coal City was a tough one, we just don’t have enough players to hang with a team of their caliber. But our team has shown a lot of heart.”
Westmont tried to catch the Coalers off guard on the opening kickoff, nearly recovering an onside attempt as it bounced through the hands of a Coal City player and sat idly on the turf. But, the Sentinels could not capitalize, instead giving Coal city advantageous starting field position.
Coal City needed only a few plays to capitalize with a touchdown.
Westmont stayed closed through the first quarter, but Coal City started hitting pay dirt in the second quarter and took a double digit lead into halftime. The Coalers won going away in the third and fourth quarter.
Zeman applauded the play of Welch, who took reps with the first string offense all week but had yet to see any live action against a varsity opponent. In the third quarter, the sophomore threw his first varsity touchdown, a 30-yard pass to Brett Sible.
“I think it was a good learning experience for him,” Zeman said. “He may be our quarterback going forward, and he showed some good leadership abilities in his first start.”
Zeman added that, in spite of a depleted roster, several underclassmen have shown promise while filling a starting role. Sophomores Luis Prado, Jackson Arias, Bashir Elzakhem, Anthony Griffiths, Kyle Domin and Sam Soltwisch have all played well in the starting lineup.
Westmont will close out the regular season on the road against Peotone Friday night.