The Geneva football team averaged more than 35 points a game in 2013, and receiver Pace Temple was in the middle of much of the chain-moving.
Nothing against last year, but Temple isn’t satisfied with the status quo. He wants more from himself as a senior and from the Vikings, whose season ended at 7-3 and with a first-round Class 7A playoff loss to St. Patrick.
“Obviously last year we did some great things, so teams are going to prepare for that, but I think it’s going to be hard because we have so many different ways we can hurt defenses,” Temple said.
Temple is high on that list.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound multisport standout was part of an impressive 1-2 receiving punch with Kyle Brown, who graduated and has walked on at Pittsburgh. As a junior, Temple caught 37 balls for 799 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while also supplying three interceptions as a defensive back.
Temple received his first Division I scholarship offer last month from Wyoming. Others likely will follow – and might have already if Temple had been able to attend some of the college camps to which he’s been invited – but Temple said his recruitment will play out in due time.
“Being a captain for football and just having to be there for [summer] basketball, it was hard to get out [to college camps], but I went out to Penn and am talking to a lot of Ivy League schools, and I think that could definitely be an option, and obviously that education would open doors and set up a future,” Temple said. “But as of now, I’m ready to focus on my senior year and my team and put together a memorable year, which hopefully in return, it opens up some more doors to the programs. That would be great.”
Temple said fielding his first Division I offer was hard to fathom.
“For it to happen was one of those moments, you just kind of stop,” Temple said. “It was a lot of silence from me when I got that call because I’m just thinking not too long ago I was praying, making wishes to become an athlete in college, and Wyoming stepped up and made that offer, and that’s a day I’ll never forget.”
Temple is best friends with Vikings quarterback Daniel Santacaterina, who committed to Northern Illinois earlier this year. Santacaterina expressed his desire to see Temple follow him to DeKalb, a prospect with which Temple said he’d be open to considering, but for now Temple’s attention is on their final season together as Vikings.
As well as both played as juniors, Temple said the season-ending, 31-23 home loss to St. Patrick in the 7A playoffs provided motivation for an inspired offseason work ethic. He lists more precise route-running and gaining strength to better shed tacklers as summer priorities.
“I still feel we could have won that game,” Temple said. “I go back and watch the film and it hurts, but I think we’re going to be ready and not looking just to get back to the playoffs but get there and make a huge run, so I’m real excited for this year.”
Geneva’s season begins Aug. 29 at West Aurora, and the Vikings’ preparations continued Tuesday night with a 7-on-7 competition at Schaumburg.
While football is his likely college path, Temple made major strides in basketball as a junior as part of a sectional final-qualifying team.
It’s been an intriguing offseason for the basketball program, which recently added brothers Chandler Fuzak (6-10) and Bennett Fuzak (6-7) as transfers from Wheaton Academy.
The Vikings project to be huge in the paint as Mike Landi, Loudon Vollbrecht and Nate Navigato each are 6-7 returnees.
“Might as well just throw all five of them out at the start of a game for the heck of it,” Temple said. “That’s going to be exciting, too.”