SCHAUMBURG — Lightning flashed as heavy rain drenched the bleachers, but inside the gym at Schaumburg High School, Clay Czyzynski still wanted to play. The clock read 9:30 p.m., but it wasn’t that late and the storm wasn’t that big.
This was Czyzynski’s first game as New Trier’s starting quarterback, and he’s only a sophomore.
“This is kind of big for me, coming in as a sophomore but everyone’s been very supportive,” he said, “We’re all like a big family.”
This was the big game coach Brian Doll had been talking about for months and the Trevians eventually pulled away for a 34-14 win. Friday marked the first game of the season for New Trier and it was Doll’s debut.
“ ‘Beat Schaumburg.’ He’s been saying that since June,” senior offensive lineman Matt Kaskey said of Doll.
The families in the stands cheered when the Trevians ran in their first touchdown 12 minutes into the first quarter. Czyzynski threw his first completion just before the second.
“I’m probably more nervous than he is right now,” Rich Czyzynski said while watching his son play, “because I have no control over what’s going on.”
The game was tied 7-7 when the weather got out of control and lightning forced players and fans to evacuate the field for almost an hour. At 9:45 p.m., New Trier jogged out of the gym yelling, “Let’s go win a football game!”
After the break, the Trevians drove down to the end zone only to throw an interception and miss a field goal. After halftime however, Czyzynski threw his first varsity touchdown to senior Scott Hammes.
“All I was thinking was ‘Please get to Scott.’ When he caught it I was speechless,” Czyzynski said.
Doll credited the next three scores to his team’s enthusiasm and experienced players. New Trier has 11 starters returning this year — six on defense and five on offense. Senior halfback Caleb Roth carried a run up the middle for a touchdown. Then 12 seconds later, after New Trier recovered a fumble, Kevin Mulhern ran up the middle and ran the score to 34-7. Though Schaumburg’s quarterback Danny Galovich drove down for one more score, the Saxons couldn’t catch up in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors … playing right now and it’s a testament to them,” Doll said after the game. “We had some momentum swings, but they came back.”
Doll came back to New Trier this year as head coach after former coach Dan Starkey took a position at Lockport. Doll graduated from New Trier in 1995, where he played quarterback his junior year and wide receiver and defensive back as a senior.
Around 11 p.m., more than four hours after kickoff, Doll walked off the field with a big smile, happy to be back. He said he was proud of the way his players had handled the game’s tempo — not just Czyzynski, but the whole team — and the fans who stayed till the end.
“It was great for me to come back and see my two little boys and see that this is a family affair,” Doll said. “It’s great to see everyone standing on the sideline. New Trier hasn’t won a first game in a while, so this is a big game for us.”Tags: football, New Trier, New Trier athletics, New Trier football, Schaumburg