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Football’s Future: New coach, new ideas

Football+players+line+up+for+the+next+play+during+a+game+on+August+26%2C+prior+to+the+hazing+allegations.+New+head+coach+Luke+Mertens+is+bringing+a+brand+new+coaching+philosophy+which+he+believes+will+bounce+the+program+back.
Football players line up for the next play during a game on August 26, prior to the hazing allegations. New head coach Luke Mertens is bringing a brand new coaching philosophy which he believes will bounce the program back.

Football players line up for the next play during a game on August 26, prior to the hazing allegations. New head coach Luke Mertens is bringing a brand new coaching philosophy which he believes will bounce the program back.

Meggie Furlong

Meggie Furlong

Football players line up for the next play during a game on August 26, prior to the hazing allegations. New head coach Luke Mertens is bringing a brand new coaching philosophy which he believes will bounce the program back.

Jim Weimer, staff writer

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Having qualified for the postseason for the past eight years at Lakes High School, the football program’s new head coach says his coaching philosophy will make the program a strong competitor for State.

Luke Mertens, the newly hired head football coach, took the job for the challenge it posed, saying that Lake Zurich is a place of excellence both in and out of the classroom, a place that could benefit from his style of coaching.

“I don’t make it about football. I know that sounds weird because I’m the head football coach, but football is not going to be the priority and never will be the priority,” Mertens said. “I’m going to make it about people first, about relationships. That’s what the key is going to be. We’ll be one of the only schools on Friday nights where prior to the game we’re not talking about the game, we’re talking about how to be a better man.”

The most important thing a coach should do is act as a role model to the players. According to Mertens, when they see the way he values and treats other people with respect at all times, they are going to model that behavior.

“I can win ten State championships here, [but] that’s not what people are going to remember; people are going to remember who you are, and you have to separate who you are from what you do,” Mertens said. “Playing football, that’s what these kids do, that’s not who they are, and we are always going to be remembered for who we are.”

Mertens firmly stands behind his coaching philosophy, saying that the team is going to be a direct reflection of how he carries himself, so he will always carry himself in the right way. He wholeheartedly believes that relationships and treatment of people is of utmost importance, and it’s on the forefront of his coaching methodology.

“I ask that people give us a chance. What happened last year, I’m not asking anyone to forget about it, but I’m asking everyone to understand that I’m a new coach and this is going to be a new approach to the program,” Mertens said. “We’re going to rebrand an already great program and we’re going to turn it into something that everyone is going to be proud of.”

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Football’s Future: New coach, new ideas