LAKE ZURICH — A year ago, Sean Lynch was a junior cornerback for Lake Zurich’s varsity football team — and a good one.
He racked up six interceptions, and was a huge part of the reason why the Bears made a run to the Class 7A state semifinals. Now, the 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior is a year older and wiser.
And he’s also playing a different position — free safety.
“I’m extremely comfortable at my new position,” Lynch said. “There is a little more responsibility to the (new) position though. As a corner, you have to pretty much focus on shutting down one player. Now, I have other things to pay attention to. Bigger responsibilities.”
Among those responsibilities are calling defensive formations and paying attention to both the pass and the run.
“I have to give a ton of credit to the rest of our defense,” Lynch said. “Trevor Staley, a junior, and Matt Moon, who is a senior, have done a great job as our starting cornerbacks. And we’ve has a lot of players step up and fill spots while some of our players have dealt with injuries. It’s been a total team effort so far.”
If the numbers are any indication, Lynch’s transition has been a huge success. The Bears have allowed just seven points in their first four games. That includes three shutouts. As always, Lake Zurich coach David Proffitt is cautious about singling out one player.
But he acknowledged Lynch’s significant contributions.
“I like to put it this way,” Proffitt said. “We’re evolving. Each week, we’re trying to get better. The position we’ve put Sean in is a high-pressure one. But he’s the type of kid who can handle that and has up to this point.”
Lynch can also be a force on offense. In a Week 3 win over Warren, he carried the ball less than 10 times but was just shy of picking up 100 yards rushing.
“That’s all heart,” Proffitt said. “He’s able to play at such a high level of focus and intensity because he loves the game.”
“He gives our team such a huge emotional lift when he’s out there,” added Colton Moskal, who will return this week after missing two weeks with an ankle injury.
This week, the unbeaten Bears (4-0, ranked No. 2 in the Sun-Times Top 25) will need that emotion and intensity. They host Lake Forest in a huge NSC Lake showdown. The Scouts (4-0) are led in part by senior running back Hub Cirame.
Lake Zurich and Lake Forest did not play last season because of a teachers strike at Lake Forest. That game was canceled, and the Bears were awarded a forfeit victory.
“I haven’t even brought that up to our guys,” Lake Forest coach Chuck Spagnoli said. “We have enough to worry about focusing on what’s going on this week and this season.
“I think it goes without saying, just about everyone knows how big of a matchup this is for both clubs. Our guys are looking forward to it.”