Lake in the Hills, IL- My new job has me working Friday nights and I am seriously bummed out not to be able to watch high school football. But a man has to do what a man has to do or something goofy like that! In the meantime, I am proud to launch my new series #MonsterMatchUp. Week One was pretty easy: Prairie Ridge HS Wolves @ Cary-Grove HS Trojans. Two of my #YoungGuns have agreed to participate in a Q & A. The Wolves standout Jr. OT-DE Jeff Jenkins (6-3, 245) and spectacular four time Trojan starter Sr. FB-LB Tyler Pennington (5-10, 220) were very kind to help us out. Thanks Jeff and Tyler!!
I- bergsworld.live: You both come from great football powerhouses. What is the vibe from you and your fellow teammates heading into such a fantastic 2016 season opener?
JJ: “Everyone is really excited and ready to go, our coaches have put us in the best position to succeed, it’s our job to execute now and I think we are ready and everyone on both sides of the ball are working extremely hard so we’re ready to go!”
TP- “Heading into Week 1 there is always excitement! It will be nice to finally get to playing real football after a very long and tough off season. Hopefully we will get to see our hard work pay off and be lucky enough to get a Win!”
II- bergsworld.live: From a leadership standpoint please tell us what it takes to earn the respect of your teammates?
JJ: “As far as getting everyone to respect you I think it starts with your work ethic, being the hardest worker in the weight room and the hardest worker at practice. So you kinda just lead by example and hope they respect that. And I think everyone does cause you can’t just talk a big game and when it comes time to actually work you slack off!”
TP: “It takes a consistent attitude, effort, and execution to earn respect of your teammates. Your teammates know who puts in the work that they need to and who they can count on during the season and during games.”
III- bergsworld.live: Coaches Seaburg and Schremp are both IHSA living legends, tell us what it’s like to play for them as long as you both have?
JJ: “Coach Schremp has done so much for me. First as far as personally with me and my recruiting I wouldn’t have an offer from Ball State without him. I wouldn’t be getting recruited by several other schools without him, he has helped me so much and has taught me so much about recruiting. I really did not know anything about how that works, he has taught me everything I know. As far as a coach, he knows everything about the Triple Option. He knows exactly when to call the right play and he is also the o line coach, so he’s been doing it for like 15 years now. So you know he knows what he is doing and if you do what he teaches he puts you in the best place to succeed.”
TP: “It’s definitely a challenge to do but I enjoy every minute of it. Coach Seaburg’s job is to push us to be the best players and men we can be. He does a great job of that and his success has proven that he has.”
IV- bergsworld.live: How do your coaching staffs help you and your teammates with the high expectations that come with playing for perennial IHSA championship contending teams?
JJ: “The coaching staff has been together for awhile now so their expectations are very high. So it’s nice knowing that they expect big things also and they work hard watching film and doing all that stuff. So just doing what we can to hold up our end is what we’re going to do.”
TP: “Our coaching staff at Cary is outstanding. They do a great job of pushing us to the brink every single day and don’t allow us to look ahead to anybody. They make everyday a grind and it really helps you take the season day by day because that’s really the only way to survive the program.”
V- bergsworld.live: I think the Fox Valley Conference is as strong as I’ve seen in my 21 years of following it. Tell us what you think it will take to win the FVC this year with the new configuration and the glut of very good teams and exceptional talent?
JJ: “The talent is crazy, I mean you look at our schedule and you can find a D1 talent on most teams. The offensive line talent is especially crazy with Trevor (Keegan) at South, Wyatt Blake and Colton (Ruhland) at Cary, it is nuts. Even with us, Samson (Evans) of course and then Ferb (Austen Ferbet) at TE who just committed to Army who I wanna give a shout-out to: Congrats Ferb!! It just seems like the talent is better than it ever has been but that’s a good thing having really good competition. Winning this conference will be very very tough and we are gonna have to really fight to do that. We’ll see if we have what it takes after the first 2 weeks!  But we are ready to go and this team is gonna work as hard as they possibly can day in and day out to accomplish great things!! “
TP: “It will definitely take a concerted team effort. If we all buy in and just focus on what each individual player has to do, we will be just fine. Having the goal of just improving our game everyday is what will keep us locked in and focused on our ultimate goals for this season.”
We have some bonus information from #ProfessorOfGoodFitness Dave Davis of Davis Speed Center. Davis Speed Center works with all Prairie Ridge HS athletes. Thanks for your input Dave!!
“At the start of the summer PR football focused a lot on increasing strength.  They did heavy work with 5 reps on most of the core lifts, some of the upper classmen working 3 rep range.  As the summer progressed we switched to more of power phase with the guys.  While the start of the summer was a 4 day lifting program with some speed and agility built in, then end of the summer transitioned into 3 days of lifting and one dedicated day to speed work.”
“The goal was to make these boys are strong as possible and transition that strength into athleticism for the start of the season!”
Week Two #MonsterMatchUp Crystal Lake South HS Gators vs Crystal Lake Central HS Tigers Coming next Thursday!!!!!

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