The Lake Zurich Bears had a big third quarter comeback after being down the entire first half, securing a win against Warren 33-14 on Friday.
After Warren scored two touchdowns in their first six plays of the game, senior Mike Leiva kicked for two field goals and a point in the first half after senior Zach Till ran in a touchdown from 8 yards out. The Bears came out strong in the second half to hold Warren to the 14 points they scored in the first half.
Lake Zurich’s special teams lived up to its name, scoring 19 of the Bears’ 33 points. They carried out a key play for another touchdown, including both a punt return for a touchdown and a blocked punt. Leiva contributed to the second half score with two more field goals. Two of his four successful field goals were kicked from the 39 and 40 yard lines.
Other highlights from the game were a late 54 yard punt return for touchdown by senior wide receiver John Orlando and a recovered fumble in the Lake Zurich end zone by senior Mike Shield.
Lake Zurich’s defense improved as the game progressed and was successful in the second half, shutting Warren out after the first quarter.
The Lake Zurich student section was covered in red, white, and blue commemorating the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Linebacker Shield carried an American flag as the team took the field at the beginning of the game.
The win leaves the Bears at 2-1 with a home game next week against Lakes Community High School.
With the National Football League (NFL) preseason under way, fantasy football drafts and leagues are beginning to heat up. Fantasy players everywhere, whether they are coworkers or students, are ranking their players, drafting their rosters, and monitoring their depth charts.
For some who play fantasy football, the beginning of the season is not only the most important, but also the most fun, said Trevor Kuehr, junior and frequent player of fantasy football.
“The draft to pick the teams is my favorite. It’s the most intense part. It’s what basically defines the rest of the season,” Kuehr said.
About 32 million people, ages 12 and over, actively play fantasy sports in the US and Canada, according to a recent survey by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA). This shows a 60 percent growth in fantasy participation in the past four years, the study said. Fantasy football is a major contributor to this recent increase in popularity.
“There are a lot of people I know [who play fantasy football]. I would guess about half the guys in the school do it,” Kuehr said. “It’s a way to have more fun with friends and family while still just watching some football.”
Various media outlets have been taking advantage of fantasy sports’ success, giving advice on NFL players to fantasy owners through web sites, magazines, and newspapers. Bear Facts has decided to join them and provide readers with their own ways to win a fantasy football league.
- Do your research: Every fantasy owner needs to know which players they prefer prior to a fantasy draft, but the research doesn’t stop after the draft ends. Owners need to watch injury reports and keep an eye on available players. It is often helpful to look at advice from several sites or magazines. Preseason games are also good indicators of how successful a player will be and are also useful for finding sleepers.
- Don’t be biased: Some fantasy owners will try to draft as many players from their favorite team as they can. This is not advisable, because then if your favorite team has one bad week, so will your fantasy team. Not to mention that your favorite team’s players might not be very good.
- Know your league: Rules vary from league to league, and as rules change, so do players’ values. For example, in a league where points are awarded for receptions (known as points per reception or PPR leagues) a running back who usually catches a lot of passes, such as Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, becomes more valuable. Knowing your opponents and how they like to play fantasy football can also be useful.
- Pick your sleepers and breakout players: Sleepers are players that not everyone knows about, but could end up getting big numbers and giving big advantages to whoever drafts them in a late round. In 2010, wide receiver (WR) Brandon Lloyd of the Denver Broncos was a surprise success, leading all receivers in fantasy points after an unproductive 2009 season. Likewise, breakout players help a team’s success, and are usually young players or rookies that have a big year. In 2010, running back (RB) Arian Foster had a huge second year in the NFL and was the overall highest fantasy scorer. A sleeper suggestion for 2011 is Sam Bradford, a second-year quarterback (QB) who has a new offensive coordinator who heavily favors the pass in Josh McDaniels.
- Watch for busts: On the other hand, there are often overvalued players that are drafted early but do not help their fantasy owners at all. WR Randy Moss was a good example of this in 2010, as age and other issues caused him to sharply decline in point totals. Injuries also hinder, if not stop, production, so do not overvalue injury-prone players like RB Frank Gore of the 49ers. For running backs, the number of carries the player had the previous year can wear him down and make him a possible injury concern, so try to avoid backs like Michael Turner of the Falcons, who led the NFL in carries last year. Of course, busts are rarely foreseeable, but watch for risky players nonetheless.
The more experienced fantasy football players usually have their own individualized strategies and ideas on how to win a league and be successful in a draft.
“I usually try to get running backs first,” Kuehr said. “Points are based off yards for receivers and running backs, so running backs get way more. Plus, they get a lot of touchdowns.”
bf fantasy picks
- Arian Foster, RB, Texans
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
- Chris Johnson, RB, Titans
- Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
- Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
- LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
- Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
- Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
- Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers
- Michael Vick, QB, Eagles
- Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders
- Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
- Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
- Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
- Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants
- Matt Forte, RB, Bears
- Roddy White, WR, Falcons
- Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
- Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
- Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers
- LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers
- Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
- Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
- Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants