LOMBARD – An era ended for Glenbard East last Friday, but the Rams are not looking at it as a sad moment.
The Rams lost their final football game in the DuPage Valley Conference 55-7 to Wheaton Warrenville South. It marked the end of a 2-7 season with a 1-6 DVC record.
Next year the Rams head to the Upstate Eight Conference. They will be doing so with 15 starters expected back along with players from a sophomore team that went 7-2 and picked up wins over Glenbard North, Naperville North and Wheaton Warrenville South.
“We have two groups [the current sophomores and juniors] next year that have worked awfully hard and have already put a lot of time into our program,” Glenbard East coach John Walters said. “We got a conference change with it, which is not a step down, but is going to allow us to be more competitive.”
Tom Mogavero, Erik Sanborn and Javon York are among the defensive leaders that will depart with this senior class. The Rams had some optimism early with a 2-1 record, including a win over playoff-bound rival Willowbrook in the season opener.
After that, injuries, youth and the strength of the DVC took over. The Rams lost the final six games of the season by an average of 36.8 points.
“I think our guys learned a lot,” Walters said. “I think they learned a lot about football. I think they learned a lot about themselves. I think they learned a lot about what they need to do to be successful in the future.”
The learning experience will have to benefit them next year in the new conference. Among the returning players are quarterback Drake Pusateri, leading rusher Dominic Wilberton and the top two receiving threats Alex Ciszewski and Joey Moore. Ben Sullivan, an offensive lineman that Walters has called the team’s best player, will also be back as a captain.
“There is a buzz,” Walters said. “We’re returning 15 starters and we have a 7-2 sophomore team to fill in the gaps and create competition in spots, which we’ve been lacking.”
Rams season leaders
Passing: Drake Pusateri 71-for-169, 966 yards, 6 TDs
Rushing: Dominic Wilberton 120-517, 3 TDs
Receiving: Alex Ciszewski 18-363, TD; Joey Moore 28-358, 3 TDs
Tackles: Tom Mogavero 38; Jack Difino 34; Erik Sanborn 34; Javon York 30