any given Friday' A crisp Sunday morning finds Tim Racki waiting, appropriately, under a scaffold.
The school is receiving a facelift, but Racki also is a foreman, only without the backhoes. He oakley deals is a 37 year old live wire, Oakley sunglasses resting on a hat turned backward, in his first year reconstructing what once was a consistent contender. In the last four years, Nazareth and the Private School League parted ways, former coach Dennis Moran retired and Racki arrived from Driscoll Catholic, leaving four straight state titles for a school with two wins in two seasons. he is back on site, a day after Nazareth thumped Benet 33 10 for its third victory. "Boy," Racki sighs, "did we need that one." What he needs now is a plan for the thunderstorm that is Joliet Catholic, a team ranked No. 1 by the Tribune and fourth nationally by USA Today. Inside his office Racki's assistants crowd a table littered oakleys for men with fast food containers. Racki highlights names on a roster to clarify who's injured and who's not. The problem is not so much what to do against the Hilltoppers, it's whom to do it with. Reviewing two JCA game films over the next four hours leads to this strategy: Devise a simplified, run resistant plan for the limited defensive personnel. Offensively, exploit a shaky secondary and add two back run game wrinkles. And hope that Joliet Catholic, which has film on every Nazareth game, suffers from information overload. "I'm telling you, they're going to overprepare," assistant Dan Paplaczyk cracks, flashing a double thumbs up. "We got 'em." As is his Monday custom, Racki patrols the cafeteria to gauge the mood of his team. He likes what he hears. Joliet Catholic barely edged St. Patrick on Saturday night. Nazareth nearly upended St. Pat's it gave up three scores in the last 6 minutes 10 seconds of a 47 42 loss so the players conclude they have reason for hope. "Not that we didn't believe already," defensive end Zach Karstens says, "but when something like that happens, that just reaffirms the fact that, any given Friday... " The crutches bow out at 45 degree angles under Steve Gray's arms. "They're not even mine," he says, tossing them aside. Ambling out to practice this Monday, he trails bad news. On Oct. 1, Gray suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament. Today an orthopedist refused to clear him to play in his last career game. Gray is the prototypical football player in the way that Barney Fife is oakley prescription the prototypical SWAT team captain. He is a 5 foot 8 inch, 165 pound linebacker, yet he is the pulse of Nazareth, a guy who talks about "the attitude" with which he arrives at the ball. For the first time since the 4th grade, he watches from the sideline. So why is Steve Gray smiling? "I want to try to get back and at least practice, and see if maybe I can play one more game," Gray says. "The doctors said, Probably not.' But I want to try one more time, and we're going to figure out if that's possible." The doctors have not run tests for pathological determination. Now the kid who was always too small wants this chance against the oakley outlet online biggest. "I mean, what can you say about that school?" Gray says of Joliet Catholic. "That's the one game I'll remember for the rest of my life. Whatever happens, I can say I played Joliet Catholic.
That's exactly why I'm doing whatever it takes to get back on the field." Bob Gray, Steve's father, says his son can play against doctor's orders. In a noisy cafeteria Tuesday, Racki grabs Steve Gray's shoulder and breaks into a 50 kilowatt grin.
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