The significance of Geneva’s 13-12 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South last week isn’t lost on Alex Porter and the Vikings.
Geneva, at 3-1, is off to its best start in six years, dating back to 2015. Geneva began that season winning its first seven games en route to a 9-2 record – the Vikings’ last winning season and playoff appearance.
“That was the first time in six years Geneva has beat a winning team from our own conference, so that was a pretty big deal to us,” said Porter, Geneva’s senior quarterback. “Obviously, it wasn’t pretty, but that kind of comes with everything. We’re all still learning a new system and putting everything together. A lot of it is new to us.”
Nothing more than the results on the field.
“Especially the winning,” Porter admitted. “The winning is new to us, too, so it’s really nice. We’re 3-1 right now. Which... I imagined 4-0. I obviously want to win every game, but there’s a lot of people from the outside wouldn’t have seen this coming, so it’s fun to be a part of.”
Defensive end/running back Carter Powelson and Mason Pawelko have played well for the Vikings thus far, but another name – outside linebacker Graham Borden – has perhaps flied under the radar.
“Carter has had a great year and there’s been a lot of talk about him,” Porter said. “Graham Borden, I feel like, hasn’t been talked about nearly enough...one of those two are definitely the most athletic players on the team and in the program. Graham is a phenomenal athlete.”
Borden, a second-year varsity senior linebacker and tight end, said the victory over WW South was “definitely huge.”
“For the program, especially,” Borden said. “When we were coming up [through the ranks] we didn’t get to see any of that. Especially as younger guys.”
“...When I was coming up, it was kind of [thought on the outside] ‘we’re Geneva, we lose,’” Borden continued. “’We get blown out every game’. But, I hope we’re setting the standard now. We’re done with that. We’re done being the punching bag of the conference. We’ve just kind of had enough.”
A point of emphasis as to why for their hot start? A legitimately solid week of practice and diligent film study.
“Last year, we didn’t watch much film. This year, it’s something we really take advantage of,” Porter said. “Obviously, like most teams do every Saturday morning, we watch film of the previous game. Then, every Monday, we watch about an hour and a half of film on the next team. We spend a lot of time focusing on that team.”
“Our scout team offense [and] defense, they do a great job of trying to do what the other team does,” Porter continued. “Because our coaches and our players know what the other team is going to do so well – we work so hard for that week of practice for that certain team – I think it translates into the game very well.”
Borden has moved positions quite a bit throughout his preps career. His freshman year, he began at cornerback before going to a safety/linebacker hybrid over the next two seasons. He’s now settled in at a more traditional linebacker role – but he’ll get moved around a bit, depending on personnel packages.
“I love it,” Borden said. “It’s so fun every week learning something new, finding new ways to help the team is really rewarding.”
Geneva travels to St. Charles North (2-2, 0-2) this week.
“It’s definitely a big game for playoffs,” Borden said. “They’re a really good team. It’s going to be a dogfight. They had a close game with WWS, just like we did...it’s going to be a dogfight.”
Dawson Trebolo steps up to lead Kaneland defense: Dawson Trebolo, in his first year on Kaneland’s varsity, is thus far king of the defense for tackles.
Trebolo, a junior defensive lineman, had never played a varsity game until the Knights’ season opener against Andrews. He started it, as well.
Trebolo currently has 37 tackles, two for loss and a sack and forced fumble apiece.
“I was super excited for that. I felt that I played really well for a first game,” Trebolo said. “After that, I got a little bit more of a confidence to the field.”
“I used to think I was still a freshman...I hadn’t really seen the progress because I go through it every day...I improved a lot,” Trebolo continued. “It’s been a lot of work I’ve put in. Personally, I think I’ve been doing good. I always feel there’s room to grow for me...I can’t wait to keep getting better.”