Mount Carmel’s football program has a new look, but the same feel. New coach Jordan Lynch has made it clear the tradition the program was built on will stay the same.
“Pieces may have changed at Mount Carmel but everything is still the same,” Lynch said. “The same beliefs, the same tradition and everything that goes on. This program has run itself and [Former coach Frank Lenti] has done a great job in the thirty plus years he’s been here. I’d be a fool to change a lot of stuff.”
Lenti won 374 games and 11 state titles in 33 years at Mount Carmel. In December the school decided to move in a fresh direction and put the 27-year-old Lynch at the helm.
Lenti’s firing came with some backlash. It also took some adjusting from the players.
“It’s been tough at first,” quarterback Rad Premovic said. “But it’s all in the past now and we’re just focused on this year.”
Two weeks into the start of practice, the new Mount Carmel coach looked like a veteran on the sidelines, exuding confidence despite being a first-year head coach. It isn’t a job he ever imagined having, but it’s one he knew he couldn’t pass up.
“Did I ever think about coaching at the high school level?” said Lynch. “No, not at all. But if there’s one school to come back to it’s Mount Carmel that’s for sure.”
It was an easy decision choosing Lynch as Lenti’s successor, but letting Lenti go wasn’t an easy decision.
“There’s going to be some healing taking place hopefully,” Dan LaCount, Mount Carmel’s athletic director, said.
The Caravan open the season against Hope Academy at a place familiar to Lynch, NIU’s Huskie Stadium.
Mount Carmel is hungry for a chance to play in the state championship after losing to Lake Zurich in the semifinals last year and Lynch is eager to restore the championship tradition Lenti built.
“Pressure is a privilege,” Lynch said. “I know these kids want a ring, that’s why you come to Mount Carmel.”
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- Mount Carmel’s new coach on what’s ahead this season
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