Joey Lindstrom moves forward with Lake Zurich offense

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LAKE ZURICH — Lake Zurich junior quarterback Joey Lindstrom takes a modest approach when asked about his individual success this season.

“I don’t like to talk about myself, but I feel like I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I was earlier this year, and last season,” Lindstrom said.

Though the Bears enter their Week 4 NSC Lake showdown against Mundelein with a 1-2 record, Lindstrom has been a bright spot. Through three games, he’s 22-for-39 (a 56.4 percent completion rate) with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Those aren’t gaudy numbers, but his decision-making has been solid. He’s avoided ill-advised passes for the most part, and one of his interceptions came on a ball that was deflected in the rain.

“Joey has been a pleasant surprise for us,” Lake Zurich coach David Proffitt said. “It seems like he’s making good decisions. Coming into the season, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

“Granted, we’re 1-2 right now. Obviously, no one likes to lose. But adversity is part of life, just as it’s part of football. If you’re at this point in the season and you don’t expect some sort of adversity as a football coach, you should get out of the business.”

A 20-10 home loss to Libertyville Friday was a prime example of that adversity. Still, multiple times against the Wildcats, Lindstrom could have forced throws into coverage, risking turnovers. Instead, he tucked the ball away and took a sack on each occasion.

“No one likes taking a sack, but it’s part of the game,” Lindstrom said. “There are times when you have to, for the greater good of the team. But I have to give our offensive line a lot of credit. Guys like Zach Wallace [6-foot-7, 245 pounds], Greg McLain [6-3, 230] and Roy Glassey [6-1, 215] have been there for me when I’ve needed some advice from our senior leaders. The varsity game is so much faster than the sophomore games I played in [last year], but I feel like we’re all making the necessary adjustments.”

Bears senior Nate Repplinger, who plays a cornerback/linebacker hybrid position known as “animal,” sees positive signs from Lindstrom, too.

“He’s come a long way since last year, but there’s still room for him to improve,” Repplinger said. “Joey’s a hard worker, and from this point on in the season, will only get better.”

Bears senior Zane Lodico caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Lindstrom in a 10-7 victory over Fremd in Week 1.

“There is still much room for him to grow — and for us as a team.” Lodico said. “We are behind him 100 percent.”

Proffitt credited his coaching staff for working with Lindstrom during the offseason.

“Guys like [assistants] Tim Beagle, Chad Beaver and Aaron Towne did a great job over the summer working with Joey, and with our offensive line,” Proffitt said. “But we all have room to improve, coaches included.”

Libertyville coach Mike Jones, whose Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 NSC Lake) have beaten Lake Zurich (1-2, 0-1) both times he’s visited, sees big potential in Lindstrom.

“Passing the ball a lot isn’t really Lake Zurich’s style,” Jones said. “But he seems effective at managing games, and really compliments their running game. Especially for a kid who’s a junior. He’s very effective on play-action passes and waggles. Last week’s loss to us aside, that’s still a pretty good football team over there.”

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