Belvidere North football returns

Bennett+O%27Connell+%28%2717%29+scrambles+away+from+defenders.

Photo provided by VIP

Bennett O’Connell (’17) scrambles away from defenders.

Ben Clanin, Co-Sports Editor

 The Belvidere North football season is now officially underway with the White vs. Navy scrimmage game in the books, in which the white squad won under the leadership of senior quarterback Bennett O’Connell.

     The Blue Thunder finished last year with a record of 6-3 in the NIC-10 conference, which earned them a third place finish overall.  That record also led to a playoff appearance for the third straight year. North lost in the first round of the IHSA playoffs to Kaneland High School.  

     “It was a tough loss, we were extremely happy to get to the playoffs, and then to lose in the first round was tough,” said running back Jason Rodgers (‘17).

     The Blue Thunder look to bounce back from that first round loss in the playoffs this year, but they have to do it with a new lineup.  They have lost the all time leading rusher in Belvidere North history, Jared Cantu, but North has options up and down the roster that they think will be able to pick up the slack.

     “We definitely have options this year, Jason (Rodgers) and Cruz Garza (‘16) are the two best options we have, and they can both run the ball very well,” said Caleb Blatchford (‘17).

     North takes on Jefferson in their first game on August 26 at Auburn, then the next week on September 2 they take on crosstown rival Belvidere at Milt Brown Stadium.

     “That game is going to be intense, playing Belvidere always is tough. That is probably going to be my favorite game of the year,” said Rodgers.

     The theme for Friday’s game is a purple-out and game time is 7:00.