The 2011 high school football season was memorable for Bishop Dwenger for all of the wrong reasons. And so far, the 2012 season hasn't been much better.
The Saints saw their Summit Athletic Conference win streak snapped at 38 games when they fell 26-16 at North Side last season, their consecutive conference crowns ceased after four years, and coach Chris Svarczkopf's team sported an uncharacteristic 7-5 record, which was their fewest wins since 2004.
Already this season the Saints have faced adversity with a season-ending injury to returning starting quarterback Mike Fiacable.
Coach Svarczkopf spoke recently with News-Sentinel sports editor Tom Davis.
News-Sentinel: How are you resolving the quarterback position in lieu of Mike's injury?
Svarczkopf: With Mike we could throw it long, throw it short and run the option. With Mike we could do everything. The guys that we have don't have that kind of experience. We're happy with the changes that we've made (offensively). We've put our receivers in position where we can get them the ball. We're concentrating on the type of plays to get them open. We've cut down the number of plays that we have – there are a lot of repetitions.
News-Sentinel: Make the offense simpler?
Svarczkopf: John Kelty is the next man in. He's a junior and a hard-working young man. He's worked very hard on his quarterback skills year round. He appears right now to be the next man in.
News-Sentinel: Bishop Dwenger seemingly replaces its quarterbacks every year successfully. Why is that transition so seamless?
Svarczkopf: I think a lot of these young people when they play CYO football, they play quarterback with the idea that someday they'd like to play quarterback at Bishop Dwenger. So for (Kelty), this is part of the natural progression. Hopefully, at some point or another, he would get a chance one way or another. That's the way all of them are. Also in the running with Kelty is last year's freshman quarterback, Cody Miller. Both of these guys performed very well this summer. We compete a lot in 7-on-7 and they go to a lot of camps and competitions. So it won't be as easy or maybe as much fun as it would have been with Mike, because he could do so many things, but this team has rallied and this coaching staff has done a great job. We'll see what happens.
News-Sentinel: What are your thoughts on the new IHSAA “success” rule?
Svarczkopf: Well, we voted for it. If you look at our schedule, we are happy to play (Class) 5A schools. It is something that we want to do.