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2011 Football Season Over for Scouts; Recruiting Season Kicks in for Seniors

Just over two weeks removed from season-ending loss, a few Lake Forest High School football players prepare for their college careers.

 

He hasn't seen the tape.

When asked about the , Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli said the game tape remains in the DVD sleeve.

"I haven't looked at it. There is no value in looking at it now," said Spagnoli. "I'm sure I'll pop it in over the winter."

What he would see was a Lake Forest team that we saw all season: one that thrived on turnovers and an opportunistic defense. He would also see a team that held a 17-10 lead on the road against one of the state's better teams in Batavia (which lost 33-22 to Prairie Ridge in 6A semis last Saturday). He would also see a team that could not run the football (leading rusher Owen Williams had zero yards on 13 carries), which ultimately was the reason they lost the game. 

He would also see a 2011 team with much to be proud of: eight victories (most since 1996), and a share of the conference championship (first time since 1995). The season toward building a consistent, winning program that sets new standards every year.

"There's always a huge emptiness these past few weeks. But this was as enjoyable a year as I've had," said Spagnoli, now 42-46 in nine seasons as head coach. "This group taught me a lot as a coach. There weren't many valleys. There were more peaks."

As is the circle of life, one door closes, another opens. The recruiting season has already begun. This year, the Scouts may have as many as six seniors playing on Saturdays next fall. 

"We are in the middle of meeting with them right now," said Spagnoli. "We tell them to consider schools that are good fits and if football doesn't work out, you are at a place you want to be."

Here is a quick rundown of a few Scout seniors and where they are in the recruiting process:

  • Owen Williams:

 The bullhorn running back, who rushed for a team-leading 1,206 yards this season, is open to all comers.

"I'm talking to a ton of schools. I haven't narrowed it down yet," said Williams.

With a 4.41 GPA (on a 5.0 scale), Williams has put himself at an advantange academically. He has visited the University of Pennsylvania and is in contact with other Ivys such as Dartmouth and Yale. East coast Patriot League schools Bucknell and Georgetown are also on his list along with closer-to-home Butler in Indianapolis and Drake in Des Moines. 

Although Williams would prefer to be a running back in college, he's open to switching positions.

"I want to go to a good football school and not ride the bench. I want to play," said Williams, who scored a 26 on his ACT. 

  • Nick Keefe: 

The Scouts sack leader (seven) and second-leading tackler (51.5) was in Oxford, Ohio this past weekend, visiting his brother Max, a linebacker at Miami of Ohio. 

Keefe has some leverage as he has two offers on table, both from Division 2 schools: Delta State in Cleveland, Miss., and Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., just outside Boston. 

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Keefe also has a preferred walk-on offer from Tulane in New Orleans. 

"There is nothing I hate more than losing football games. I want a (school) with a winning tradition," said Keefe. 

Possessing a 4.3 GPA and 26 ACT, Keefe hopes to use his brains as a bargaining chip. 

"I'd like to use football to get into a school I normally wouldn't get into and make the most of my opportunities," said Keefe, who plans to major in business.

Keefe is also looking at the University of San Diego.

  • Brandt Pfeifer:

Along with Keefe, Pfeifer brought a nastiness to the Scouts defense this season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker was also productive, finishing with 50 tackles (third best on team). 

So far, Pfeifer has a walk-on offer from Ball State in Muncie, Ind. He's looking at other colleges.

"It's (Ball State) an option, but I'd like a scholarship," said Pfeifer.

He recently took a trip to Cape Girardeau, Mo., to visit Southeast Missouri State, located two hours south of St. Louis. Pfeifer is also in contact with Kent State in Kent, Ohio, and a few colleges in Minnesota. So far, no offers. 

"Location is important. I'd like the school to be close (to home)," said Pfeifer. "It can't be in the middle of nowhere. It's got to be a college town." 

  • Other Scouts interesting in playing at the next level: linebacker/tight end Matt Wagener, defensive lineman Tyler Funk and offensive lineman Morgan Layton.

Just like the season, recruiting has it's own cycle, it's own pace. For most of this year's class, that process is just beginning.  

"There's a lot of sifting through," said Spagnoli. "From Thanksgiving through Christmas, there will be a lot of coaches coming through our building wanting to talk to our kids."

To watch Brandt Pfeifer and Nick Keefe's recruiting videos, go to our Facebook page.

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