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Bishop Dwenger Coach Chris Svarczkopf is not a man who dwells on “what if.”
But he also is not the kind of person to forget about the past.
That is why Svarczkopf and the rest of the coaching staff have been studying the reasons behind last season's 6-7 campaign. They are not focused on the wins and losses, but on how the year came to be, particularly when it comes to injuries.
The Saints lost their top two quarterbacks on the depth chart – Mike Fiacable and John Kelty – to injuries early in the season. Several other players missed considerable time, setting Bishop Dwenger back against a daunting schedule that ended up including four teams that were state champions or state runners-up.
So how does Svarczkopf and his staff adjust to make sure last season's injury woes do not strike again?
Was it just plain bad luck?
“We have to learn is there a reason why we had the amount of injuries we had?” Svarczkopf said. “Was it because we were young? Were we weak? Was it because we weren't ready? Was it because we hit too much? That's all been looked at very closely.”
One thing that will be different this season for Bishop Dwenger is the length of practice. The Saints hope they can combat not only injuries but also fatigue by limiting practices to 90 minutes.
“I think you will see that as a trend not only in Indiana but throughout the country,” Svarczkopf said of the shorter practices. “It may even be mandated shortly as far as the length of practice you are allowed to have.”
On the plus side, the Saints built significant depth at several positions because of the injury bug last season. As a result, they appear deep all across the board, especially as some of the top teams in the SAC – including Snider, Bishop Luers and North Side – look to replace key pieces.
“We have four guys (at quarterback) I wouldn't hesitate to put in at any time,” Svarczkopf said. “That is because of what we went through last year. It is the same situation at a couple other positions as well.”
Sometimes things do not go your way for an entire season, and that definitely could have been the case for the Saints a season ago regarding the amount of playing time the team lost as a whole to injury.
But it is better to examine all facets of the program and its approach to see if there really is a problem instead of assuming that the bad luck has run its course entering the new campaign.
“You don't forget (about 2012),” Svarczkopf said. “You look back and you learn from these things.”