Streamwood’s Noah Polich off to scorching start

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Streamwood senior wide receiver Noah Polich entered the season with what seemed a rather lofty individual goal.

Based on his torrid start, the 5-10, 180-pound All-Upstate Eight River player may need to make a revision.

“I don’t know about number of catches, but one of my goals is to get over 1,000 yards receiving,” he said. “It is a very hard thing to do.”

With 6-5 quarterback Max Draper throwing to him, Polich has already made 43 catches for 603 yards, which is four more catches and 57 more yards than all last season. There’s still five games to play, including Friday’s on Streamwood’s newly resurfaced field turf Friday against St. Charles East.

“I don’t think this is a surprise,” Draper said of Polich’s numbers. “We’ve been connecting for a few years now.”

Draper, who has drawn college interest as a prototype strong-armed pocket passer, has completed 86-of-152 for 1,039 yards. He’s closing in on his statistics from last year, as well.

“The way they’ve built this connection was basically just through lots of time together,” coach Mark Orszula said. “But the connection they have is also built on the other guys playing with them.

“We’ve got Lance Roberts, cole Segar and Cody Jayko who take catches and some of the pressure off of Noah. They’re creating open space for those two to operate.”

Orszula, a former NIU player, likes calling Polich “a Wes Welker type.”

Polich’s game is a bit like that of Welker, who always seems to find ways to get open and gain yardage even though he may not be the biggest or fastest player.

“I like the short routes because I love making people miss,” Polich said. “But I couldn’t do what I do without the other receivers — and it’s not just their routes.

They’re good downfield blockers and open it up for me.”

Part of the quality of a good passing combination is usually the two players have become close friends, and it’s certainly the case with Polich and Draper.

“We became good friends right after he got back here,” Draper said.

Polich originally lived in Streamwood, moved to the Wheaton area, then returned for his sophomore year.

The two exchange more than tossed football, like, good-natured insults.

Polich likes to kid Draper about not being the fastest player.

“I call him slow,” Polich said. “He doesn’t have any moves, doesn’t have the burners.”

“They tease me about it,” Draper said. “I’ve gotten faster. I told him I could beat him in a race all summer long.”

So they ran.

“It wasn’t close,” Polich said.

Draper said he has become more mobile this season, even if he’s not up to Polich’s speed.

“He’s got the arm,” Polich said. “That’s what we need.”

And Polich has the catches.

“Teams are going to start keying on Noah so we have different formations and different looks,” Draper said.

The Sabres came away with a 27-21 win over Larkin last week after leading 27-0, a Royal comeback that didn’t sit well with them.

At 1-3, the Sabres often find themselves underdogs as the program tries to rebound from a 1-8 2013.

“We like facing teams where we go in as an underdog,” Polich said. “We know what we need to do offensively, and have usually been able to do it.”

That’s usually been through the air, although running back Tae Reetz has rushed for 253 yards.

“Me being an old offensive lineman, I tend to want to run the ball, but our offensive coordinator, coach (Dave) Ellett does a great job mixing it up.”

No sense wasting the area’s hottest passing connection.

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