Varsity Football Ends September with a 5-1 Record


Photo Credit: GBW Parent, Steve Seanay

Glenbard West started the 2022 season ranked as the number 7 overall team in Illinois. 

After a thrilling 33-31 road victory over Marist Catholic–ranked number 12 in Illinois at the time–in the first game of the season, the stage was set for an exciting September slate of games.

One breakout star for the Hitters was junior running back Julius Ellens. Ellens–who has started on varsity since he was a freshman–was originally slated to play wide receiver but had to make the shift to running back. This was due to standout senior Joey Pope being unable to play in multiple games due to injury. Even though Pope did not fully return to the field until the game against Addison Trail, he stated: “I was still able to be there for my teammates and I found ways to help such as coaching up some of the younger guys.” 

Since a dominant running game has been a staple of Glenbard West football culture, there is always immense pressure on the position to perform at a high level. When asked about the shift to playing running back, Ellens replied that he “adapted well to the big switch” and that “it makes it a lot easier following the big offensive linemen.” 

The offensive line–led by Wisconsin commit and four-star recruit Chris Terek–deserve just as much credit when it comes to the success of the running game; many claim that this may be the best offensive line that Head Coach Hetlet has had at Glenbard West. 

Terek gave his thoughts on the success of the running game so far: 

“We have been a lot smoother this year and our o-line has blocked great. Julius [Ellens] is a great running back.” 

The combination of Ellens and the offensive line greatly contributed to GBW’s 4 wins in September over Downers Grove South (42-7), Oak Park-River Forest (35-14), Proviso West (51-12), and Addison Trail (48-14).

The Hitters found themselves ranked number 4 in Illinois going into the highly anticipated clash on September 30th with number 6 ranked, arch rival York.  

After a hard fought and sluggish game, the Hitters came up just short in a crushing 17-13 loss. It was a game determined by a few plays that unfortunately did not shift in West’s favor. 

Despite the loss, the season is far from over. The Green and White are still poised for a deep playoff run in November behind the strong leadership from veteran players such as Pope, Ellens, and Terek as well as the very experienced coaching staff led by Coach Hetlet. 

“Our goals for the rest of the season remain the same: To keep taking steps forward every week as a team and to compete for the state championship.” — Joey Pope