Features | Friday Night Drive

Kane County football notes: Batavia’s Brody Osborne settling in after position switch to safety

Brody Osborne feels his confidence level can grow, but at the end of the day, he trusts himself.

Osborne, a Batavia senior, converted from linebacker to safety prior to the start of the regular season. Even though he is lining up five yards deeper than he’d been used to, the results are still strong.

Osborne had 12 solo tackles and one assisted tackle in the Bulldogs’ 27-24 loss to Wheaton North on Friday. On the season, Osborne is second on Batavia in tackles (26) and averages just shy of nine per game.

“I’d say I’ve improved a lot at the position,” Osborne said. “There’s obviously a lot more that I need to improve on, and honestly, at the position, I just see more connections with my teammates and their positions. It’s not so much improving as myself as it is improving getting chemistry with the other safety and other corners and linebackers.”

“Communicating from that position, I’ve definitely improved on a little more, but there’s obviously more to work on,” Osborne continued.

The initial conversations on Osborne transitioning positions began prior to summer training camp. The Bulldogs needed some secondary depth with multiple graduations the season before.

“When I switched, I enjoyed it,” Osborne said. “It was fun. They still put me in the box a lot so I just like seeing the field from a farther [perspective]. I felt like I was going to learn quickly. It wasn’t that much different, just the open-field tackling was a little different. I felt pretty confident when I moved because I was having fun.”

“...I think [coaches] saw me as a reliable player,” Osborne continued.

The Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1) host Lake Park (1-2, 1-0) in their home opener on Sept. 16, and have work to do to get back on track.

“...It’s a very, very tough league that we play in,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said following the loss on Friday. “Everybody knows each other pretty well [and] the things we can do. I like our team. I like where we’re at. There’s a couple little things that we don’t have 100% of yet. It’d make a big, big difference if we did.”

Geneva soph Troy Velez has breakout game

Troy Velez burst on the scene quickly for Geneva.

Last season in the Vikings’ playoff win over Collinsville, following an injury to Carter Powelson, Velez had a 15-yard run on his first carry.

“They just kept trusting me and giving me the ball. I put in that work for us,” said Velez, now a sophomore.

Through three games, Velez is averaging 101 yards per game and six yards per carry, a nod to both the investment from him and the Geneva offensive line.

“I’d say I’m a brusier [type running back],” Velez said. “Downhill running is my thing; getting hard yards [and] sticking my head through the holes. Getting every yard that I possibly can to help us advance the ball [to] open things up as the passing game comes.”

Velez feels his 142-yard and two-touchdown performance last week against Glenbard North “blew all my other games this season out of the water.”

“My [week two] game, I didn’t do so great. I mean, I had one breakthrough run, which set us up a lot,” Velez said. “I’d say this is my best game my whole varsity season and there’s way more to come.”

“Just trusting myself; trusting my line,” Velez continued. “Trusting my coaches. They tell me to hit the hole. I do everything they tell me to. They’re good coaches. They stand up for me. They’re behind my back all the time throughout this time at Geneva...I trust my line. I trust those guys with my life.”