LA GRANGE PARK – Throughout the fall season, Nazareth coach Tim Racki praised the team mentality his Roadrunners displayed, but even with that in mind, Will Colmery stood out.
The senior defensive end earned a scholarship to play at Purdue, was named to the Class 5A all-state team and is the Suburban Life all-area football MVP. Colmery was a star on a team that had many standouts and numerous contributors.
“From Day 1 we had some great senior leaders,” Colmery said. “All of us just kind of came together and said we need to bond together as a team if we want to be successful. We knew that would be an important role in our season.”
The end result was an 8-3 season that included a six-game winning streak that extended into the playoffs. The Roadrunners featured a number of sophomore standouts and even some freshmen as well.
“It was kind of a classless system where the best player played, but we didn’t care if somebody was a sophomore,” Colmery said. “We were hanging out with all of our teammates so it was a really special year for us. I was sad when it was over, but it was a really great experience being a part of a good group of senior guys. We went through a lot together. It was fulfilling for sure.”
After the season ended, Colmery took a little bit of time off to let some lingering injuries heal up. He is getting back into the weight room trying to prepare for the next journey on his football career.
The Western Springs resident heads to Purdue next year where he hopes to be a part of a turnaround at the program. The Boilermakers went 1-11 this season and suffered their first 10-game losing streak since 1908.
Colmery started his playing days in a house league in Western Springs and followed his two older brothers to Nazareth. From the time he started playing football at Naz, he knew his goal was to play Division I football. Purdue fit in a couple more ways as well.
“I was really able to relate with the coaches really well,” Colmery said. “I really liked their new staff. They went through a tough season this year, but I think that’s a good opportunity because they’re playing a lot of freshmen right now and sometimes they say that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“I feel like there’s definitely an upside at Purdue and I think we’re going to be able to do great things. Playing in the Big Ten has always been my dream. It’s a big stage. I’m really looking forward to that.”