Motivation carries the Alleman football team


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Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012, 7:23 pm
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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com
Each time he ran sprints in the offseason or practiced in the cold this season, Alleman senior football player Ben West did so with one thing in mind.

"I was thinking about Evergreen Park," West said.

A disappointing 19-18 loss to Evergreen Park in last year's Class 4A second round stuck with Alleman the last 12 months as it tried to prepare for this season. While the team admits they are not seeking revenge ahead of their Class 4A state semifinal meeting with Evergreen Park on Saturday night, the Pioneers are not forgetting the past.

"It was a heartbreaker," Alleman senior receiver/defensive back Connor Whan said. "We played hard, but we definitely made a lot of mistakes."

The outcome was not what caused the most pain. How the loss happened presented the most frustration.

"We did not have a good night, and it cost us," Alleman coach Dave DeJaegher said. "You've got to learn from that. You've got to take that as motivation going into this year. Everyone did."

The reward comes Saturday night.

"That's the best feeling," West said of meeting Evergreen Park for the second consecutive year. "That's why you put in the hard work for a year."

Alleman insists the emphasis this week rests on securing a second state championship game appearance in three years, but rebounding from that loss lingers. The Pioneers led 18-16 midway through the fourth quarter before pinning the Mustangs at their own 1 after a punt.

A pair of third-down conversions then put Evergreen Park in field goal range with 12 seconds remaining regulation. Jeremy Esparza's 27-yard field goal capped the drive and sent the Mustangs into the state quarterfinals for the second time in program history.

"As a program, it was a pretty big deal," Evergreen Park coach Dan Hartman said. "To be able to get a win against a program with the tradition and success like Alleman was pretty big."

Duplicating the result is Evergreen Park's next challenge.

"Seeing them again, it's a little scary," Hartman said. "Anytime you knock off a program like (Alleman) a year prior, you know they're going to be motivated to return the favor."

First of all, the Pioneers are more focused on their preparation.

"It's about staying with the routine that got us this far," DeJaegher said. "We just need to stay with what we've been doing. Through the years, that's what we've stuck to. That's not going to change."

Alleman moves forward with an eye on the past.

"It really hurt at the time, but it served as a lot of motivation for right now," West said. "I'm going to be thinking about that every night before I go to bed."

















 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men.
1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.








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