The return of Bishop Noll football

Matthew Odegaard, Staff writer

After Bishop Noll’s win against Calumet Christian on August 20th. The question has come up. “Is Bishop Noll football back?” After almost four years from being regulated to junior varsity status, the Bishop Noll football team has seemed to come back in stride. A team that had only 17 players has now gone to 40-50 players. Christian Laird, the offensive coordinator, has said that the past two years they have a staggering 30-40 players. All of a sudden there has been a flood of freshmen forcing head Coach Racine to create a junior varsity team. He said “The goal for the JV team is for them to learn how to compete and to improve their skills,” Laird said. “We also want them to have some fun.” Fans can expect to see the JV against Whiting sometime after the team returns from quarantine .

Since their summer conditioning the Bishop Noll football team has been electric with a warrior team led by senior quarterback Willie Feagin and junior defensive end Matt Bonadurer. Bonadurer says they are really looking forward to the East Chicago game at the end of the season. Right now, they are on a two game losing streak after losing to Whiting and Crossroad Christian. Additionally, 30 players and staff are quarantined till Friday September 17th. Bonadurer seems assured that as soon as everyone gets on the right page they will be unstoppable.

The historic Bishop Noll football program was almost shut down four years ago. When numbers dropped and a period of three seasons without a varsity win brought morale down. The athletic department, together with the IHSAA, relegated the team to a junior varsity program while they rebuilt as part of a new conference of smaller schools, the Greater South Shore North Conference. Racine has been able to resurrect the program with a 50 man varsity team and 25 man JV team. Bonadurer believes that the loser mentality was forced out. Now they can become a more dominant team. Coach Laird has added on top of this saying “ For the past few seasons the core of our team have been Freshmen and Sophomores and had a tendency to be a little immature – not focusing during meetings, playing around before games, not watching enough film, etc. Now that they are mostly Juniors and Seniors they are a lot more mature in how they prepare for games.” The culture has truly seen a shift and they hope to go far in the playoffs this year.“ The losing culture has been forced out and won’t come back, Bonadurer said.”