Lake Central: His chance to shine

Story Image Lake Central High School's Tyler Szczecina, a senior, during varsity football media day held at the school in St. John, Ind., Friday, August 5, 2011. | Guy Rhodes~For Sun-Times Media

Updated: May 9, 2012 9:42AM



Good things happen for the Lake Central defense when Tyler Szczecina is on the field.

Unfortunately, staying on the field has been a challenge for the 5-11, 180-pound senior linebacker.

Szczecina has always been very good when he plays. Actually playing has been the problem.

Lake Central coach Brett St. Germain has never known what it’s like to have a completely healthy Szczecina. He hurt his hip last year on the first day of full-contact practice. The nagging freak injury — he injured it when he tried to kick a football — caused him to miss all but four games.

Even when Szczecina did play, he was limited.

“He was never at full strength,” St. Germain said.

That is too bad.

As a sophomore, Szczecina was named Honorable Mention All-State when he led the team in tackles. He’s been groomed to be a star, playing as a freshman on varsity after a stellar Pop Warner run.

St. Germain says “instinctually, he’s our best defensive player.” St. Germain knew when he arrived at Lake Central that Szczecina was going to be a really good player on defense. He just never really got a chance to see him be really good.

Szczecina kicks himself when he recalls the injury. He simply went hard for a punt before he was warmed up. That caused part of his tendon to tear off his hip.

“I knew right away it was bad,” he said.

He sat out four weeks and then returned. Turned out he came back too early, which caused him to miss all but one of Lake Central’s final games. He was back for the Indians’ 21-14 loss to Munster in the sectional.

But that was it for him. After missing three games his sophomore year because of a neck injury, Szczecina is itching to play and anxious to show people how improved the Indians are. Szczecina plays defense exclusively, something that he enjoys. He played running back and linebacker in Pop Warner.

“This year, I want to make up for what happened junior year,” he said.

St. Germain said he had a great summer of conditioning, as did the whole team.

Szczecina said there is a new vibe in the locker room after one full year under St. Germain’s leadership.

The team recommitted to the weight room after finishing 2-8. They were 2-9 in 2009.

“We worked really hard, “Szczecina said. “I think we worked harder than any team in the weight room. We’re going to rise up. We’re going to show what we can do. We want it bad.”

Coach

Brett St. Germain

Record

At school: 2-8 (second year)

Overall: 52-20 (seventh year)

Last season

Lost to Munster 21-14 in sectional opener

Key returnees

QB David Yancy

LB Tyler Sephenia

RB Drew Hollingsworth

RB Chase Fieldhouse

Key losses

RB Tanner Redlarczak

DL Nick Johnson

WR Kramer Thalen

College prospects

LB Tyler Sephenia

DL Ike Dozier

Season outlook

The Indians are much stronger this year after a year in the weight room under Brett St. Germain. “We’ll have much more of a physical presence,” he said. “We’re eons ahead of where we were last year.” They have five starters back on offense and six returning on defense. David Yancey, who played cornerback for three games before he broke his collarbone, is moving to quarterback. Connor Doyle, their starting quarterback last year, decided not to play this year. Chase Fieldhouse and Drew Hollingsworth are going to split time at running back. Both are shifty players who were a second and third option last year behind Tanner Redlarczyk.

Defensively, the Indians are hoping to get a full year of production from linebacker Tyler Sephenia. St. Germain was pleased with preseason practice, particularly on defense, where he said there is solid competition at numerous positions. LC was hammered by injuries last year. Staying healthy is key.

Schedule

Aug. 19 at Munster

Aug. 26 East Chicago

Sept. 2 Portage

Sept. 9 Crown Point

Sept. 16 at LaPorte

Sept. 23 Michigan City

Sept. 30 at Chesterton

Oct. 7 Merrillville

Oct. 14 at Valparaiso

Postseason

Class 5A Sectional 1 (Chesterton, Crown Point, Lake Central, Merrillville, Michigan City, Munster, Portage, Valparaiso)

HISTORY LESSON

Season Record

2001 6-5

2002 5-6

2003 1-9, 0-7

2004 1-9, 0-7

2005 2-8, 0-7

2006 4-6, 2-5

2007 7-5, 3-4

2008 3-7, 1-6

2009 2-9, 0-7

2010 2-8, 1-6

Sectional titles: 1990, 1993-94, 1999

Regional titles: 1993

Semistate titles: 1993

Roster

No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Pos.

1 Drew Hollingsworth 5-9 170 12 RB/DB

2 John Gbur 5-7 145 10 WR/DB

3 Nick Paic 5-8 145 10 WR/DB

4 Zachary Bouchee 6-1 210 12 TE

5 Jon Vae Johnson NA NA 10 WR/DB

6 Robert Lauerman 5-6 145 12 WR/DB

7 Matthew Madsen 5-11 190 11 WR/DB

8 Michael Goin 5-9 140 10 WR

9 Gelen Robinson 6-1 215 10 LB

10 Alex Olund 6-1 160 10 QB

12 Max Sanchez 6-1 175 12 WR

13 Jake Turngren 5-6 140 10 WR

14 David Yancey 5-10 200 11 RB/DB

15 Nicholas Newell 5-10 155 11 WR/DB

16 James Thomas 5-2 105 10 WR

18 Isaac Mendoza 5-10 155 11 WR/DB

19 Ike Spearman 5-11 205 12 WR/LB

20 Richard Stanger NA NA 12 DB

21 Bradley Uzubell 5-11 150 11 WR/K

22 Dylan Morang 5-7 165 12 WR/DB

23 Jacob Sebahar 5-5 145 10 WR/DB

24 Juan Gaona 5-9 150 11 WR/DB

25 Chad Steapleton 5-11 210 11 TE/DL

26 Ray Washington 5-8 155 12 DB

27 Justin Wippo 5-9 155 11 DB

28 Luke Taylor 5-9 180 11 DB

29 Rafael Arellano 5-7 135 11 DB

30 Austin Todd 6-0 195 11 TE/LB

31 Chase Fieldhouse 5-11 175 12 RB/DB

32 Jacob Rivera 5-7 155 10 RB/DB

33 Jacob Bermingham 5-7 175 11 LB

34 Marcos Hernandez 5-8 170 10 LB

35 Lucas DeVries 5-9 185 12 LB

36 Frederick McGee 5-6 145 12 DB

37 Jacob Freckelton 5-7 145 11 LB

38 Julio Medina 5-8 175 10 DB

39 Giovnannie Cos 5-9 185 12 DL

40 Riley Arvantis 5-10 195 11 RB/LB

42 Marko Tomich 6-0 210 12 TE

43 Karan Sharma 5-10 215 12 DL

44 Benjamin Stutler 6-1 190 12 TE

44 Michael Rogers 6-0 220 12 TE/DL

45 Tyler Szczecina 5-10 180 12 LB

46 Milos Losic 5-11 190 11 LB

47 Steven Jarrett 5-9 210 12 DL

48 Brian Rice 5-8 170 10 RB/DB

49 Tyler Payne 5-8 175 10 DB

50 Brandan Rodriguez 5-11 220 11 DL

51 Nicholas Minkema 5-11 190 10 DL/P

53 Austin Eatinger 5-10 210 11 LB

54 Daniel Herrera 5-8 195 11 LB

55 Jacob Melcher 5-7 165 11 LB

56 Jesse Ruiz 5-11 195 10 LB

57 Allan Maupin 6-0 220 12 OL/DL

58 Maurice Jackson 5-11 255 11 OL

59 Devin Lundin 5-10 190 10 OL

60 Ryan Kozy 5-11 265 11 OL

61 Miles Toledo NA NA NA NA

62 Edward McBride 5-10 245 10 OL

63 Ekeziel Doe 5-9 245 10 OL/DL

64 Ryan Gindl 5-9 200 12 OL

65 Michael Olijace 6-6 265 11 OL

66 CJ Lessentine 5-9 225 10 DL

67 Jonathan Decker NA NA 12 OL

68 Michael Hines 6-1 255 11 OL

69 Omar Khalil 6-0 230 11 OL

71 Jonathon Kirby 6-1 305 11 DL

72 Tyler Rimkus 6-1 185 11 DL

73 Erik Wirtes 5-7 275 12 OL

74 Nichalos Jastreboski 5-10 195 11 OL

76 Peter Doukas 6-2 255 12 OL

77 Marco Radjenovic 5-10 245 12 OL

78 Thomas Quinn 6-2 190 10 OL

80 Deter Schultz NA NA 12 K

81 Felix Padin 6-1 170 10 WR

82 Mitchell Oskam 5-8 150 10 WR

83 Kenneth Whisenton 6-0 160 11 WR

84 Eric Minyard 5-10 160 11 WR

85 Randall Jones 5-9 185 12 WR

86 Alex Tucker 6-2 185 11 WR

88 Robert Ross 6-1 270 12 TE/DL

89 Sean Dvorscak 5-7 135 10 WR

90 Elijah Whitaker 5-8 300 10 OL/DL

92 Marco Merced 5-5 185 11 DB

93 Trevor Miller 6-1 180 10 DL

94 Timothy Heicher 5-7 180 11 DL

95 Jonathon Bannister 6-0 205 11 DL

96 Jeremy Pietrzak 6-0 185 10 DL

99 Daniel Weber 6-4 195 11 DL

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.

Comments  Click here to view or make a comment